April 30, 2015
The Malawi Prison Service (MPS) and Prison Fellowship Malawi (PFM) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will see inmates serving the last year of their prison term at the latter’s Half Way House in Balaka for vocational training.
According to terms and conditions of the MOU, this is to promote rehabilitation and re-integration of offenders into society.
Chief Commissioner of Prisons in Malawi, Kennedy Nkhoma said after the signing of the MOU at MPS headquarters in Zomba, that the MOU guarantees the trust and confidence in the offender management system by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of re-integration of offenders into community.
Nkhoma said:- “Prisons occupy the bottom part of most governments the world over so this milestone undertaking will protect the rights of all the stakeholders in the reintegration exercise and encourage skills and resources sharing between the parties and community.”
He said re- integrating and rehabilitating prisoners through skills development and training is important than just putting offenders in custody as the only best solution .
Ludovick Jalasi, PFM vice board chair, said the move will bring prison services to the community apart from reducing congestion.
“This signifies the great importance attached by the two parties to the rehabilitation, restoration, acceptance by society, and re-integration of offenders back into society, ” Jalasi said.
Jalasi added that it is their desire to effect the agreement of establishing mutual cooperation between MPS and PFM in the management and implementation of the Half Way House programme.
PMF executive director, Rodrick Zalimba, said unlike before when they were managing ex-prisoners, they will now be dealing with inmates with one year left to their prison terms.
“We will facilitate offender integration through provision of skills training, spiritual and social counselling thereby empowering them to have a sustainable livelihood after imprisonment,” Zalimba said.
He said PFM will also provide offender community linkage through community participatory work.
MPS is a government department under ministry of home affairs mandated to provide care, treatment, housing, rehabilitation and correctional services of offenders while PFM is a trans-denominational faith based organization affiliated to Prison Fellowship International.
All offenders admitted into the Half Way House will have to satisfy all the legal processes of selection and meet strict stipulated selection criteria.
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