Prisons Act amendment long overdue
EDITOR — I read the story headlined Prisons Act faces amendments. I am glad that the authorities are finally taking a look into the plight of prisoners in the country through the proposed amendment of the Prisons Act.
The new Act, if approved will allow inmates to enter contracts to do paid work. This means that families with incarcerated breadwinners are no longer left exposed to suffering and harsh conditions.
Jailed individuals will now be able to gain work experience, a prerequisite in the modern day job market.
The amendment also underpins the importance of vocational training which is done in prisons as people get the skills but were sometimes facing obstacles in obtaining work after release from prison.
Members of the public and business owners through engagement with prisoners on these contracts will have the opportunity to understand that reform is possible and that ex-prisoners deserve equal opportunities with those who have not been arrested.
These are positive steps in ensuring the smooth reintegration of former inmates into the society, something which was a mammoth task for most. This is why we ended up having cases of released inmates plunging into destitution.
It is my wish that the amendment goes through because it will go a long way in shielding ex-prisoners from senseless stereotypes which hamper their reintegration into the society. Isaac Chirasha, Southlea Park