Plans are afoot to have an open prison for female inmates as part of a strategy to rehabilitate and integrate them back into society. Connemara Open Prison caters for male inmates only.
The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services said rigorous screening is done before one can be placed in an open prison. In a speech delivered during Africa Prisons and Correctional Service Day commemorations on Thursday in Lupane, the Minister of State for Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs, Cain Mathema, said such a facility ensures that family relations and ties are kept open and intact.
“When inmates go on home leave they interact and stay with their families thus preparing for their release. Upon release, the re-integration process would have commenced while one is serving their prison term,” said Minister Mathema.
“Plans are also underway to establish another open prison for females and Government has already approved its establishment. Progress on the implementation is being stalled by inadequate resources. However, as soon as resources permit, execution of the project will commence in earnest.”
The Minister said the country was recording an upsurge in criminal activities due to low economic activity. He urged the public to be innovative and not rely on some other people for employment opportunities.
ZPCS’ acting officer commanding Matabeleland North Assistant Commissioner Modi Nkomo and her deputy Chief Superintendent Greenfield Bulala, officers commanding prisons and inmates attended the event.