Prison renaming hearings in Barberton

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pretoria - The Correctional Services Department will begin the Mpumalanga leg of its public hearings on the renaming of correctional centres this morning at the Barberton rugby field. 

This is part of Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula's plan to rename 11 correctional centres in all six regions of the department. The first phase, which comprised of written submissions, ended last month.

The theme for the renaming campaign is: "Contributing to social cohesion through renaming of Correctional Centres," further public hearings are scheduled to take place in Modimolle, Kroonstad and Mitchells Plain.

A call to rename the country's correctional facilities has come under fire from academics and organisations, which said the renaming was unnecessary as more pressing matters in Correctional Services had to be addressed. But the department has maintained that the renaming is as important as other Correctional Services matters.

Mapisa-Nqakula said the renaming was aimed at encouraging greater public and community ownership and participation in the delivery of correctional services which should translate into higher rates of visitation of inmates by their families, increased participation of victims in estimated parole hearings, improved reach of eligible offenders by many interventions aimed at correcting the offending behaviour and rehabilitation and improved reception of parolees and ex-offenders by communities. 

Those participating in public hearings in Soweto, Mamelodi, Durban and in Pietermaritzburg, had put forward about 80 names - with emphasis on celebrating icons and heroes who had dedicated themselves to the liberation and development of others and on inspiring people to focus on issues of hope, forgiveness, development, rehabilitation and social reintegration.

Interested individuals can confirm their attendance by sending an SMS to 083 626 0304.