Twenty Namibian Correctional Services officers will receive training on dealing with mental health issues affecting their charges during a five-day training course that started on Monday.
The course focuses on capacitating correctional services on mental health needs of people in conflict with the law. It is being conducted by a British expert, Inspector Michael Brown from the UK College of Policing, and Yolande Engelbrecht of the Paralegal Gender Research and Advocacy Project of the Legal Assistance Centre.
The course is taking place at the Gobabis Correctional Facility and is being funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the tune of N$250 000.
The course covers a wide range of topics, including special training on mental health awareness for criminal justice officers, the rights of prisoners with mental health disorders and how to address the needs for safer detention and restraint. It will further cover the importance of working in partnership with other law enforcement agencies, including the courts and police, as well as social welfare and health.
Hans-Christian Mahnke, political officer of the British High Commission, said at the opening: “I’m extremely proud of the strong links that have been built up between the British police specialists from our elite college of Policing in Bramshill and security sector agencies in Namibia – and the strong leadership provided from the highest levels of the Ministry of Safety and Security, represented here today by the Namibia Correctional Services, to empower correction service officers with specialist knowledge with British support.”