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Rights of Victims and Inmates - Are They Mutually Exclusive?

Categories: HEADLINES, Safety & Security
In South Africa, are the rights of criminals upheld more than their victims?

We have once again been caught up in what has become a national pastime of receiving and analysing the national crime statistics. We look for signs that our crime rate has decreased, meaning that policing is working, and we are safer!! 

This is a pointless exercise.......these are numbers reflecting the state of affairs six to eighteen months ago – so firstly – it is a historic overview – not at all reflecting the status quo today. Of course, these statistics are relevant, but more from an academic perspective. And yes, if it shows a downward trend, it is heartening to note.

We must not forget that crime is committed by human beings, who are connected to families and communities – not only must we incorporate families and communities into the fight against crime, but we must ASSIST and SUPPORT families in their endeavours to prevent their members from committing crime. In a sense families are both victims and the origin of the perpetrators, and we need to show a deeper understanding of the challenges and difficulties those families, especially parents, face in providing nurturing, developmental and empowering environments for the raising of children.

In this week of Corrections Week, and the commemoration of Africa Commemoration Day on the 26th September, we have a renewed focus on matters of incarceration and corrections. One of the perennial criticisms posed by South African society is that ‘criminals’ have more rights than their victims!! We must therefore ask ourselves:  are the rights of victims and offenders mutually exclusive?

Continuing with our annual tradition NICRO will be hosting our 5th Human Rights lecture series, this time around partnering with Department of Correctional Services to jointly commemorate Africa Corrections day on the 26th September 2014.

We would like to invite you as the media to this event for an opportunity to unpack further what NICRO and Correctional Service are doing to uphold the Human rights.

The keynote address will be delivered by Honourable Minister of Justice and Correctional Adv. Michael Masutha, at the Kgosi Mampuru Prison Hall in Pretoria; Starting from 09h00. This will be an excellent opportunity to hear the Minister’s views on many matters concerning incarceration, the state of our prisons, and the efficacy of rehabilitation.

It is vitally important that we uphold our human rights. By doing so we strengthen our constitution and safe guard our democracy. NICRO continues to believe, wholeheartedly and with great passion, in reconciliation and healing, building a democratic society, strengthening a human rights culture and ensuring the advancement of a country and communities in which all South Africans feel secure and protected, and are able to access their rights. Working for rehabilitation of offenders, means working for the protection of the safety of citizens. That is our mandate!

For further enquiries please contact:                                                                                 

Jacques Sibomana - Communication & Marketing Manager NICRO

Tel: 021 462 0017; Mobile: 0833456875; Email: Jacques@nicro.co.za ; Website: www.nicro.org.za

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