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South African Correctional Services Officers Train Namibian Chaplains in Restorative Justice

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Omaruru, Namibia – From May 13th to May 17th, 2024, the Lucius S Mahoto Correctional Service Training College in Omaruru is hosting a significant training program on restorative justice for chaplains serving in the Namibian Correctional Service. This comprehensive training is conducted by three Community Corrections Officers from South Africa’s Department of Correctional Services, marking an important step in the collaboration between the two nations in the realm of correctional reform.

Restorative justice is a progressive rehabilitation program that focuses on aiding offenders in acknowledging and addressing the harm they have caused. It emphasizes the importance of dialogue between offenders, victims, and the community, aiming to promote healing and reconciliation. Chaplains within correctional facilities play a crucial role in this process, providing spiritual support and encouraging inmates to take responsibility for their actions.

The week-long training program is designed to deepen the chaplains’ understanding of restorative justice principles and equip them with the necessary skills to facilitate meaningful dialogues between offenders and victims. The training covers various aspects, including promoting accountability, nurturing empathy, and fostering reconciliation. By enhancing the chaplains’ capabilities, the program aims to strengthen the overall impact of restorative justice initiatives within Namibian correctional facilities.

Chaplains are uniquely positioned to influence the rehabilitation process positively. Their role extends beyond providing spiritual guidance; they are instrumental in encouraging inmates to reflect on their actions, understand the impact of their crimes, and seek ways to make amends. This holistic approach to rehabilitation is essential for fostering a culture of accountability and empathy among offenders, ultimately contributing to their reintegration into society.

The collaboration between the South African and Namibian correctional services highlights the shared commitment to improving correctional practices and promoting restorative justice. This initiative is expected to set a precedent for future training programs and partnerships, enhancing the effectiveness of rehabilitation efforts in both countries.

“We are grateful to our South African counterparts for their support and expertise,” said a representative of the Namibian Correctional Service. “This training program is a valuable opportunity for our chaplains to learn from experienced professionals and apply these principles to help transform the lives of offenders and support their journey towards redemption and reintegration.”

The training sessions include interactive workshops, role-playing exercises, and discussions on case studies, providing chaplains with practical tools and techniques to implement restorative justice effectively. The program also emphasizes the importance of building strong community ties and fostering a supportive environment for both offenders and victims.

As the training program concludes, it is anticipated that the newly acquired knowledge and skills will have a lasting impact on the Namibian Correctional Service. The chaplains are expected to play a pivotal role in advancing restorative justice, ultimately contributing to the creation of a more compassionate and just society.

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