Pretoria — Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has called on senior managers in the department to accelerate the implementation of service delivery programmes.
Ndebele was speaking at the opening session of a three-day departmental Lekgotla in KwaZulu-Natal, attended by the Deputy Minister, National Commissioner and 14 Chief Deputy Commissioners, including Regional Commissioners.
"We are responsible for people who are, individually, going through agonizing decisions of whether they are still going the old way - merely perfecting their life of crime - or are entering the road to Damascus to undergo a transmogrification and begin a law-abiding life. In other words, recidivism or a crime-free life," Ndebele said.
He said the enforcement of order should always be guided by the principle of legality, necessity and proportionality.
"We want to declare 2013 as The Year of the Correctional Official. The Correctional Official is the heart and soul of DCS."
Ndebele explained that the ideal Correctional Official should embody the values that DCS hopes to instil in the offender, as it is the official who to assist and facilitate the rehabilitation processes of the offender.
"An attitude of serving with excellence, a principled way of relating to others and, above all, a just and caring attitude are essential ingredients of the behaviour of a Correctional Official," he said.
He said a caring attitude required a principled display of qualities such as integrity, honesty and sound work practices, adherence to the departmental code of conduct and general disassociation with all forms of corruption and unethical conduct.
Ndebele said the department must remain fully committed to a caring and just society.
"We must go all out to rehabilitate those seeking opportunities for change in their lives. We must be passionate about galvanising understanding for our transformative agenda from prisons to corrections, and preparing offenders to be reintegrated as functional members of society," he said.