UP students revamp Pretoria local prisons

Posted on November 13, 2012

The class was divided into three groups. A group of ten students were assigned to revamp courtyards at the Pretoria Local Remand Detention Centre, while two groups were sent to Baviaanspoort Correctional Facility to enhance and revitalise the reception areas, especially with child visitors in mind.

Apart from the financial aid provided by the University of Pretoria, the students successfully attained a 35% financial sponsor discount on all equipment needed to complete their projects.

At the Pretoria Local Remand Detention Centre, the soccer field, volleyball and basketball court were renovated to inspire and encourage the inmates to remain active. Sections of the walls surrounding the courtyard were plastered and painted with inspirational and motivational messages.

The two groups at the Baviaanspoort Correctional Facility were allocated to two different sections: the maximum- and medium-security correctional facilities.

The visitors’ waiting room, the contact and non-contact visiting areas were made more child friendly. To achieve their goal, the students used wall stickers and child-friendly colours such as light blue, green and purple to create an uplifting atmosphere. The students also replaced broken fans in the visitors’ waiting area. The contact visiting area was further decorated with bright, friendly and inspirational posters.

The students’ lecturer, Prof Christian Bezuidenhout, oversaw the project. He congratulated his students on their work and also acknowledged prison management, who afforded the students the opportunity to contribute to the inmates’ rehabilitation and development.

The Chaplain and Acting Manager of Development and Care at Pretoria Central Prison, Reverend William Manaka, thanked the students and acknowledged their contribution. “We appreciate your efforts in establishing this type of relationship with the correctional facilities in order to better develop those behind bars, who are at the lower periphery of our societies and are often marginalised,” he said.

He further commented how the Department of Correctional Services strives to work differently with the prison inmates by rehabilitating, developing and preparing them for life after their prison sentences. He said working in partnership with learning institutions in addressing offending behaviour has been instrumental in bringing hope and change in the lives of the inmates, especially after their release from prison.

  Criminology Honours student photos with prison personnel at Baviaanspoort Correctional Facility

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