Pris­ons Act amend­ment long over­due

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

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

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