By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK The positive effect and consistency of a skills training programme for selected inmates in Namibian prisons is bearing fruit as a rehabilitation tool, as well as a behaviour-changing mechanism for them to re-enter society. This is the view of minister of Safety and Security, Peter Tsheehama, who yesterday addressed 19 prisoners who successfully completed an entrepreneurial skills training programme. The programme has been conducted and sponsored at the Windhoek Central Prison for the past four years by Bank Windhoek. “The fact that this programme was spearheaded by inmate trainers, who happen also to be graduates of the programme, is gratifying, encouraging and is giving us hope that we are achieving some degree of sustainability of the programme,” said Vinnia Ndadi in a speech on behalf of the minister. According to Tsheehama, his ministry has an obligation to actively encourage and assist offenders to change their criminal behaviour. “This training programme provides offenders with living skills that enhance their ability to conduct themselves in a law-abiding manner during incarceration, and be able to re-establish themselves in the community under conditions that minimize their risk of re-offending upon release. However, offenders are responsible for their actions and must bear the responsibility for giving up their criminal behaviour,” he said, appealing to the community to support the graduates in their renewed life after release. He also said that the skills training programme is an effective tool in combating crime in the country.
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