Commissioner general of Namibia Correctional Service Raphael Hamunyela said late coming to work, gossiping, ill-discipline, laziness, idleness and rumour-mongering would not be tolerated by his office.
He urged the officers to remain committed, be professional at all times even in the face of adversity, as well as remain committed to upholding the laws and related acts that govern the Namibian Correctional Service.
Hamunyela said this during the graduation ceremony at Lucius S Mahoto Correctional Service Training College in Omaruru on Wednesday.
A total of 109 trainees, comprising 28 males and 79 females from backgrounds such as psychology, social work, nursing, religious care, education, agriculture and security, reported for training.
However, only 107 successfully completed the training and graduated.
Two female trainees withdrew from the training on medical and personal grounds, respectively.
Hamunyela stressed the aim of the training was to transform the newly-appointed officers from civilian habits to a new routine and help them understand and meet the requirements for the daily life of a correctional officer to promote coordination, cardiovascular and mental fitness through daily runs and exercises, as well as to promote teamwork among correctional officers and instil discipline.
“As part of their training, trainees were taken through formal classroom instructions, practical exposure to the day-to-day activities in a correctional facility and management of offenders.
They completed 34 modules, which was covered in 241 hours, of which 146 hours were spent on theoretical work, and 95 hours and 30 minutes were spent on practical work,” Hamunyela stated.
“I am pleased to note that all the 107 trainees passed their Basic Orientation Training Course. The highest trainee (best academic student) scored 97 % and the lowest scored 52%,” he said.
He added officers should be mindful of the nature of their work, as it involves taking care of offenders who have been deprived of their liberty.
“Treat all offenders humanely as per the international protocols and standards. Reforming them to become productive and law-abiding citizens is one of your key tasks,” he urged.
Hamunyela also mentioned the NCS provide psycho-social rehabilitation, as well as vocational and educational programmes to inmates at all 14 correctional facilities.
“The enrolment rate into these programmes stands at 80% of the inmates referred to the programme annually. A total of 9 838 inmates has since benefitted from rehabilitation programmes from April 2017 to March 2022,” he stressed.
However, the department is still faced with several challenges in the implementation of the strategy; one of them is the shortage of staff, specifically, those responsible for the delivery of rehabilitation programmes, particularly the psychosocial rehabilitation programmes.