Erongo Governor Neville Andre says there is a need to exchange ideas, experiences, and expertise to develop comprehensive rehabilitation frameworks that can be adapted and implemented in each country according to their specific needs and resources.
Andre said this at the official opening of the three-day interaction training for officers in charge of correctional, prison, and penitentiary facilities held at Walvis Bay.
Andre advocates that research has shown that rehabilitation programmes have proven to be effective in reducing re-offending rates and promoting successful reintegration into society.
He says there is a need for a correctional system that prioritises rehabilitation and the implementation of similar programmes across all five countries of Angola, Eswatini, Zambia, and Zimbabwe represented at the workshop and within the SADC region.
However, he says it is not enough to implement these programmes in isolation within their own countries.
Additionally, he urges them to strive for collaboration and cooperation among all SADC Member States to ensure that similar rehabilitation initiatives are implemented across the region.
By sharing best practices, resources, and knowledge, they can collectively work towards a more effective and uniform approach to rehabilitation.
The governor's speech was delivered on his behalf.
"A harmonised approach to rehabilitation within the SADC region would not only benefit individuals but also contribute to regional stability and development. By reducing recidivism rates, we can alleviate the burden on our correctional systems, promote public safety, and create opportunities for economic growth."
Also speaking at the event was Commissioner General of Namibia Correctional Services, Raphael Hamunyela.
"The workshop will cover topics such as Management of Correctional Facilities, that is, challenges and best practices; Working with Female Offenders; Management of Women's Penitentiary Settings; Overview of Offender Risk Management Correctional Strategy Education as a Rehabilitation Tool for Juvenile Offenders Humanization, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration Staff Training and Development as a Tool to Enhance Transformation Management and the Wellness of Officers The Concept of Entrepreneurship in Prisons."