Query: Commissioner General of Namibian Correctional Services, why do we not have chaplains, like NDF and the police, yet we have officers who are pastors? What is so difficult to appoint these officers to serve us?
Response: The Namibian Correctional Service has chaplain positions on our organisational structure. We have one ordained pastor at Oluno and four correctional officers were sent for studies to become pastors, of which one has already completed his studies. The officers that are already in the service tried to fill the void in the meantime, while we await funds to fill the vacant positions.
Query: I just want to inform the public about something serious concerning the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility. The management is being very unreasonable, because they are refusing to release 200 prisoners being kept here illegally. All 200 prisoners have served their time, but the prison management refuses to release them. Where is the justice?
Response: Very interesting statement; however, all inmates kept in this facility are lawfully detained and there was no material proof of any inmate detained after he has served his time. Moreover, the Correctional Service Act, No. 9 of 2012 provides for various lawful releases from correctional facilities, such as parole, release after earned remission, and release upon sentence expiry. Both releases on parole and earned remission are conditional, while the release upon sentence expiry is unconditional.
Therefore, since the complaint was only specific on the total number of prisoners refused by the management and not the type of release, we can only invite the writer to consult the officer in charge of the facility with details and information of the 200 inmates denied their freedom.
Deputy Commissioner Eveline January, Media and Public Relations Unit, Namibian Correctional Services, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org