The Chief Deputy Commissioner: Incarceration and Corrections, Makgothi Thobakgale hosted a two-day session for the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board (CSPB) in the Eastern Cape Region on 14 and 15 September 2021.
The session forms part of the Department’s plan towards forging an integrated and inclusive approach in the operations of Parole Boards. The Eastern Cape leg was preceded by similar sessions in four other regions of the Department. These sessions are aimed at preparing the Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons for a National Conference earmarked for 2022.
“The Department needs to work in an integrated manner, with all branches and directorates playing their role in ensuring full support for the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board,” said Thobakgale. “The vision of the CSPB is normally limited to the period of the contract of Chairpersons. We need to realise the importance of Parole Boards and provide the relevant support. The decisions of the Parole Boards influence how the public view the role of the Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster,” he said. He added that this highly influences the level of confidence that the community has on the performance of the cluster and government in general.
The two-day session culminated with a physical observation of parole proceedings at the East London Parole Board, with the view to identify gaps and challenges in the offender rehabilitation path, particularly the sentence plans of offenders. Loss of support system was also mentioned as one of the key factors resulting in parole violation. On the second day, a meeting was held with all Parole Board officials, including secretaries. One of the issues of concern was the turn-around time for feedback on profiles of lifers submitted to the National Council on Correctional Services (NCCS).
Presentations were conducted on Human Resource issues relating to Parole Boards as well as on the Technical Indicator Description: Percentage of offenders’ profiles approved for placement by CSPB.
All inputs collated from all the regions will be consolidated for the National Conference on Parole Boards.