THE Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) has reaffirmed its commitment to upholding its mandate of securely incarcerating offenders and plugging all escape loopholes.
ZPCS has since launched security awareness and training campaigns which have yielded a marked decrease in incidences of prison escapes.
In an interview with The Herald ahead of the upcoming Prisons Day celebrations, ZPCS Manicaland spokesperson Mr Liberty Mhlanga said they remained committed to improving service delivery through extending appropriate training programmes to prison officers and inmates.
“The general consensus in any organisational set-up stipulates that training is a necessary tool in shaping human variable ideals for the organisation,” he said. “It is with this in mind that as ZPCS, we remain committed to enhancing service delivery through extending appropriate training programmes to members of staff.”
Mr Mhlanga said the training programmes were not only limited to prison officers, but were also being extended to prison inmates where they were given opportunities to be attached to professional organisations to aid in their rehabilitation process.
“The ongoing awareness programmes, as well as trainings and job opportunities offered to our prison inmates have made a remarkable improvement in the rehabilitation of inmates,” he said. “Having the chance to interact with society during attachment programmes and days like the prisons family week held last month has built confidence in inmates.
“This has resulted in some reluctance to try and escape from prison cells, as they feel well catered for and accepted by the outside community.”
Manicaland prisons security officer Mr Freddie Maurede said the province recorded a decline in the number of escapees this year as compared to the same time last year.
“So far we have recorded one isolated case of an escape, which is a remarkable decrease from four we had this time last year,” he said. “We owe this to the empowerment of our officers through awareness campaigns and trainings they have undertaken during the year, as well as the trainings offered to inmates on the importance of the rehabilitation process.”