The Directorate Spiritual Care introduced a pilot programme on substance abuse at Kgoši Mampuru II female correctional centre on Monday, 12 February 2018. The programme is offered by The Scarlett Thread, a Christian organisation with the purpose of changing lives and healing hearts of offenders. The three months programme is divided into two manual booklets titled, Addict to disciple and The heart of an addict.
The gathering comprised of officials, spiritual care workers, The Scarlet Thread representatives and female offenders who came in numbers to listen to what the programme entails. Director Spiritual Care, Dr Menzi Mkhathini encouraged offenders to utilise this opportunity to better themselves. “Remember, our judgement is not the same as God’s judgement. He is a God of second chances,” he said.
Pastor Rod Shiers, the founder of Scarlet Thread has been an addict himself for 25 years. He became a born again Christian and was set free from the addiction in the year 2000. He said his prayer was for Scarlet Thread to enter all correctional facilities in the country. His organisation initially approached Leeuwkop Management Area to test the programme and after witnessing a change in behaviour, attitude and speech from participants he was determined to go to other management areas such as Boksburg, Johannesburg, Krugersdorp and Modderbee that are currently presenting the programme. Kgoši Mampuru II is the first management area to formally launch a pilot programme for the initiative.
The programme is customised for all offenders. Rev. Paul Manaka, the chaplain at Kgoši Mampuru II said the programme will be offered two days a week for three months. It consists of group sessions and individual counselling is also offered to those who need it. The programme is not only for drug addicts but also for those whose loved ones are challenged by addiction.
Offenders who have participated will be given certificates. This programme is a pre-release programme that equips addicts to handle temptation and take charge of their lives when they are released.