Prison invests into inmates’ family support system

Bongani Sidu, Sifiso Nkomo, Musa Buthelezi, Themba Hlatshwayo and Olen Mdluli prepare meat during the family day at Barberton prison.

Gabsile Khumalo, who travelled all the way from Amersfoort to visit her husband, said she had to wake up at 04:00 to arrive in time.”This is a rare privilege for many of us to have quality time with our loved ones who are behind bars.

This is the father of my child and I still love him even though he is behind bars. I’m here to show my support to him. He has accepted the situation though he is in difficult conditions,” she said.

Dumsani Zondo with his wife Gabsile Khumalo during the family day.

The offenders had some quality time to mingle with their family members while they enjoyed meals.
According to the department’s spokesman, Mesia Hlungwani, the celebration is held to encourage families to support their relatives in jail as they get rehabilitated.

Read: Prison farm’s water woes finally solved

The day allows the families to get acquainted with other families that have relatives in the correctional facility, giving them the opportunity to construct a support network for the relatives when they are released from the facility.

Hlungwani said a family support system is very important to assist the offenders to adapt to society after they have been released. “We get the chance to determine the support offenders have during days like this, because one day they will be released and will need full support from their families,” he said.

Dumsile Lukhele with her husband Aaron Mavimbela during the family day.

Also read: Inmate confirmed dead after Barberton prison fire

The Department of Correctional Services offers offender-rehabilitation programmes to help equip offenders with skills and knowledge, making an investment in their future so they can one day be released back into society as responsible citizens.

  AUTHOR
Richard Nkosi
Reporter

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