Observer on Saturday - - News -

All roads lead to the Univer­sity of Eswatini this morn­ing where 1 493 grad­uands, in­clud­ing 10 of­fi­cers from His Majesty’s Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices, will be re­ceiv­ing their awards in dif­fer­ent fields of aca­demic stud­ies.

Like all or­gan­i­sa­tions in the ever chang­ing world, the de­part­ment is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a pe­riod of change to achieve the re­sults it so need in or­der to grow, com­pete and win in the sphere of cor­rec­tions. Chang­ing the busi­ness cul­ture of an or­gan­i­sa­tion is a long term process that re­quires fo­cus, dili­gence and ded­i­ca­tion on the part of both man­age­ment and staff. Th­ese ef­forts in­clude re­cruit­ing staff with rel­e­vant ex­per­tise and ex­pe­ri­ence while more ef­fort is in­vested in en­cour­ag­ing the ex­ist­ing staff to keep on hon­ing their skills in or­der to be in a po­si­tion to in­flu­ence mean­ing­ful change in the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Up­grad­ing skills is val­ued for the role it plays in shap­ing up em­ploy­ees to keep pace with the ever chang­ing work en­vi­ron­ment as well as meet­ing the ever ris­ing pub­lic ex­pec­ta­tions on the ser­vices of­fered by an or­gan­i­sa­tion. Em­ploy­ees with the right set of skills are more com­pe­tent and con­fi­dent. They adapt easy to change and have the po­ten­tial to of­fer so­lu­tions to prob­lems that may oc­cur in their line of duty.

Cer­tainly, the vis­i­ble cor­rec­tional re­forms fea­tur­ing promi­nently in ev­ery sphere of His Majesty’s Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices can only be sus­tain­able when sup­ported by a staff that is equipped with rel­e­vant skills to drive the var­i­ous pro­grammes and ser­vices aimed at en­abling the de­part­ment to meet in­ter­na­tional stan­dards of cor­rec­tions. Th­ese new cor­rec­tional in­no­va­tions have the po­ten­tial to change pub­lic per­cep­tion on crim­i­nal be­hav­iour and the way of­fend­ers and ex-of­fend­ers should be treated by both of­fi­cers and so­ci­ety. The un­der­ly­ing prin­ci­ple be­hind the trans­for­ma­tion agenda is to make the cor­rec­tional sys­tem more of a pro­gres­sive cause than a dump­ing ground for peo­ple in con­flict with the law. Ef­forts are fo­cused in grow­ing a cor­rec­tional cul­ture that doesn’t view of­fend­ers as sim­ply li­a­bil­i­ties to be man­aged, but in­stead as po­ten­tial as­sets to be har­nessed.

This noble dream can only be achieved with over­whelm­ing suc­cess if the staff takes the ini­tia­tive to align it­self with all the val­ues and ob­jec­tives un­der­pinned in the man­date of the de­part­ment which seeks to pro­fes­sion­ally con­tribute to pub­lic safety by ex­er­cis­ing the best prac­tices in the sphere of cor­rec­tions. While it is still the duty of this de­part­ment to pro­vide safe con­tain­ment of all per­sons com­mit­ted to cus­tody by courts, there is ur­gent need for the cor­rec­tional sys­tem to in­vest more ef­forts in the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of of­fend­ers through train­ing, ed­u­ca­tion and coun­selling to achieve mean­ing­ful be­havioural change.

FOL­LOW THE LEADER: His Majesty’s Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral Isa­iah Mzuthini Nt­shangase.

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