Rehabilitation centre for former criminals in residential area not acceptable

Opinion by FF Plus

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Rehabilitation centre for former criminals in residential area not acceptable
Rehabilitation centre for former criminals in residential area not acceptable

The FF Plus will follow all possible processes to prevent the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) from establishing a planned halfway house for former criminals in Universitas in Bloemfontein.

The DCS informed the residents of Universitas of its intention to develop the halfway house for prisoners in the neighbourhood this past Tuesday 14 May 2019. The halfway house forms part of the Department’s rehabilitation programme that helps to reintroduce prisoners into society after they have been released.

According to the Department, the owner of the house in question decided to convert his house for this purpose. Residents were informed of this development on Tuesday evening as part of a public participation process.

The FF Plus believes that residents should have much more of a say regarding what happens in their communities. If the community is opposed to the development of the halfway house, then the DCS has no other choice but to abort the development.

Recently, Universitas has already suffered a wave of crime and residents’ opposition to having such a halfway house near schools and an old age home is certainly justified. After all, the people who will come to live in the house will still not be rehabilitated to contribute to society.

Residents have an opportunity to voice their objection to the development during a public meeting on 29 May at the Dr Bohmer School at 18:00. The FF Plus will also lodge an official objection to ensure that the Universitas community can feel safe.

The FF Plus will request that the Minister of Correctional Services must indicate if her Department will accept input from the community and whether halfway house programmes are successful.

Read the original article in Afrikaans on FF Plus

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