National Commissioner, Arthur Fraser called on the Heads of Correctional Centres to demonstrate exemplary leadership and patriotism as they execute their duties.
In pursuance of the mission to reshape the future of Correctional Services and improving security operations in the ‘Theatres of Operations’ (correctional centres), the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) hosted the last leg of National Heads of Correctional Centres Session (HCC) for Heads of Centres from Free State and Northern Cape (FS/NC) Region, and KwaZulu-Natal Region on 23 March 2021. The Session was held in Grootvlei Management Area on 23 march 2021 and concluded the 2021 series of sessions which commenced on 11 March 2021 at Kgoši Mampuru II Management Area.
Addressing the session, Chief Security Officer (CSO), Lucky Mthethwa outlined the importance of adherence to the Security Intervention Model (SIM) in all centres, which includes Operational Scanning (OS), Geographical Scanning (GS) and Environmental Scanning (ES). This target driven security model is aimed at creating a safe environment and effective security operations in all correctional centres. This model will also contribute in curbing all security challenges in correctional centres such organised crime and influx of contrabands. “It is the responsibility of the Head of Centre to control and manage all operations in the centre and instil effective security operations,” said Mthethwa.
Chief Security Officer (CSO), Lucky Mthethwa unpacking the Security Intervention Model aimed at curbing security breaches in the centres.
Chief Operations Commissioner (COC), Mandla Mkabela also unpacked the Festive Season Security Operations (FSSO) to amplify on the importance of HCCs being involved in all operations within their centres. He reflected on the findings of the FSSO visits which were conducted from 9 December 2020 to 15 January 2021, in which different security breaches were discovered, including contrabands found on offenders in various centres, obsolete office furniture and overcrowding. Mkabela encouraged HCCs to read the Security Intervention Model and be creative in eradicating security breaches in their respective centres. He also stressed the need for HCCs to report credible, quality, accurate and reliable information to the management to ensure qualitative reporting and improved service delivery.
Chief Deputy Commissioner (CDC): Incarceration and Corrections, Samuel Thobakgale presented on self-sufficiency in DCS and indicated that DCS is currently developing a Strategic Framework on Self-Sufficiency and Sustainability which is aimed at building DCS that can sustain itself and run operations from its own resources through the revenue it generates. Although self-sufficiency and sustainability is about optimising agricultural and workshop production, it is also about improving security in the centres where production activities take place. Thobakgale urged HCCs to be innovative and expand on offender labour and different types of training and opportunities for offenders to produce more and contribute positively towards revenue generation in the centres.
During discussions, HCCs from different correctional centres raised operational challenges such as misalignment in the reporting lines between centres, regional offices and head office. In an effort to mitigate and provide guidance, other senior managers including CDC: Community Corrections Anna Molepo, CDC:Remand Detention: Cynthia Ramulifho, Regional Commissioner: Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West Region Tlabo Thokolo and Regional Commissioner: Eastern Cape Phiko Mbambo weighed in with valuable inputs during the session, including assuring the HCCs that challenges related to the misalignment of the structure are being attended to.
National Commissioner, Arthur Fraser encouraged all HCCs to always adhere to protocol and ensure patriotism amongst those they lead. He also urged HCCs to build memorial sites consisting of a garden and a wall of remembrance, as a symbol of honour and remembrance to the officials who lost their lives due to COVID-19. Commissioner Fraser encouraged the HCCs to implement better practices as outlined in the tools of trade, and assured them that Human Resource Management (HRM) will give support and guidance. He further advised the HCCs to familiarize themselves with the tools of trade in order to be more knowledgeable and become proficient in their work. The tools of trade include the Head of Correctional Centre Handbook, Area Commissioners Handbook, Gang Combatting Strategy, Overcrowding Reduction Strategy, Business Continuity Plan, Standard Operating Procedure (B –ORDER).
Led by Regional Commissioner (FS/NC) Region, Subashini Moodley, the session ended with a cheerful farewell for the outgoing COC, Mandla Mkabela, who will be going on retirement on 31 March 2021, after serving DCS for 34 years. Moodley thanked Mkabela for his illustrious leadership. “We are privileged to have worked with you. You will be remembered for your humility, dedication to your work and your eye for detail,” said Moodley.