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.