Query: Commissioner-General of the Namibian Correctional Service, Raphael Hamunyela, what is the use of advertising case management posts externally, while we still have officers who are acting as case management officers? Is this fair?
Response: Our records reflect that there are no Correctional Officers acting as Case Management Officers (CMO) in any of the facilities where the Offender Risk Management Correctional Strategy (ORMS) is rolled-out. However, the Namibian Correctional Service (NCS) takes pride and recognition in its efforts of rehabilitating through the implementation of the ORMCS.
The ORMCS is a methodical and multi-modal approach designed to manage offenders efficiently and effectively with the aim of ensuring their successful re-integration as law-abiding members of society.
Pivotal to the ORMCS are the functions of Case Management, which is a collaborative process that entails the assessment of offenders’ criminogenic needs/risks, planning and determining the direction of intervention, engaging with offenders to target identified criminogenic risks/needs, and the regular monitoring of progress made against targeted interventions and emerging dynamic risks.
Case Management in corrections is a core function, which requires a broad set of skills including writing skills, analytical skills, interviewing skills and counselling skills.
Therefore, it is imperative for officers who are assigned to discharge this function to be appropriately qualified, both in terms of academic qualifications and in terms of working experience with hard-to-serve populations.
It is against this consideration that the NCS has set the following minimum requirements for Case Management
A Bachelor’s Degree in the human or behavioural sciences, and
Experience with working with hard-to-service populations.
It is indeed true that at some point the requirements were lowered due to budgetary constraints that made it difficult for the NCS to externally recruit individuals who meet the set criteria.
Consequently, an interim measure was devised whereby carefully selected members of the correctional service were appointed to function as Case Management Officers upon proving their competencies after rigorous training and evaluation.
In order to ensure that the NCS complies with its mission to achieve its vision, it should operate in line with modern best correctional practices that provide exceptional correctional services to empower offenders for effective reintegration into society.
While the NCS is committed to developing and rewarding its long-serving and loyal officers by prioritising them for certain positions, it also recognizes the need to appoint qualified and skilled individuals to inject new ideas and skills by recruiting externally when possible.
Notwithstanding, the recent advert is open to all applicants meeting the set requirements, including those who are already in the NCS.
* Deputy Commissioner Ms. Eveline January, Office: Media and Public Relations, Namibian Correctional Service, Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org