The institutionalisation of effective rehabilitation programmes at Groenpunt Maximum Security Prison / T.S. Thinane
Thinane, Tsekelo Shadrack
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One of the biggest challenges facing the South African prison system today is the phenomenon of recidivism (repeat offences). In ninety four percent of all cases offenders re-engage in criminal activities after they have been released from prison. This means that the majority of prisons in South Africa are ineffective in terms of rehabilitating offenders during their time in prison. The contribution of this research revolves around an analysis of the rehabilitation arrangements that are prescribed by the DCS to all Government correctional institutions (prisons). The Groenpunt maximum security prison is used as a case study to establish why rehabilitation is ineffective and to identify ways and means to reduce recidivism. In this regard the rehabilitation arrangements at Groenpunt maximum security prison is measured against the prescribed governmental rehabilitation arrangements. The following main findings (problem areas) emerged out of this research: • At Groenpunt maximum security prison the prescribed governmental prescriptions for rehabilitation are not being adhered to; and • Participation in rehabilitation programmes is not compulsory for offenders at Groenpunt maximum security prison. The above trends render rehabilitation ineffective and stimulate recidivism upon release. In order to rectify the above situation the research highlights specific shortcomings in the rehabilitation arrangements of Groenpunt maximum security prison that needs to be rectified in order to reduce recidivism. This boils down to the development of an individual needs based approach to rehabilitation and making participation in rehabilitation programmes compulsory for all offenders. It is further envisaged that the recommendations relating to Groenpunt maximum security prison can also be applied to other prisons in order to reduce the rate of recidivism in all South African prisons.
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