A total of 359 recruits graduated from the Lucius Mahoto Correctional Training College at Omaruru in the Erongo Region.
They are now looking forward to being deployed across the region.
Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security Minister, Dr. Albert Kawana, says the deployment of the graduates will address a myriad of challenges at correctional centres and add value to their operations.
The graduates, comprising 246 males and 127 females, started training in March this year, completing an intensive training course at the end of November.
With a pressing shortage of staff at correctional centres, the graduation comes at an opportune time.
""So I am so happy that we are adding human power to our correctional service. Some of the graduates will be caretakers for state presidential decision patients; some will end it with the number of care management officers or case management officers; some will be part of the food production activities; and someone will join the well-known Namibian correctional service band."
Dr. Kawana said the ministry acquired land in the Kunene and Zambezi regions, where they will establish food production plants for correctional facilities, adding that there will be a need for correctional officers to provide security there.
"The correctional facilities are not only meant to contribute to food security, but they also address the current state of correctional facility allocation in the country. This envisages the facilities that I have mentioned when we eventually address the challenge of transporting inmates from the Zambezi and Kunene regions to other regions of our country. This state of affairs currently is not only costly and a security risk, but it also subjects inmates to serving their sentence far from their families, which is again the principle of rehabilitation and reintegration.''
The Correctional Services Commissioner-General, Raphael Amunyela, noted that the basic training programme was changed from six to nine months to ensure professionalism and skill development in line with a modern approach to the treatment of offenders.
"This was done with the purpose of accommodating a well-structured practical aspect of training in which recruits are exposed to the various areas at correctional facilities and their performances assessed in those various areas of the international minimum standard of treatment of inmates, such as unit or section duties, escort guard duties, the duties of searching, and many more. This is to complement and precede the theoretical aspect, which covers local and international law. laws applicable to the correctional services, human rights inmate manipulation reporting, report writing, principles of rehabilitation, gangsterism, and many others that are delivered in class for over seven months.''
Hamunyela said Namibia's correctional services aspire to be the best in Africa, adding that the programmes offered will continue to be improved.
Graduates had an opportunity to show off skills that they acquired over the nine-month training course.