Zimondi encourages open prisons

paradzai_zimondiMARONDERA - Saint Thomas Prison will soon be turned into an open reformatory centre to make life easier for offenders serving jail sentences for less serious crimes, a top prison official has said. (Pictured: Commissioner Paradzai Zimondi)

The prison would be the second in the country to offer such facilities after Konemara in Kwekwe.

As an open prison, selected inmates would live independent lives with keys to their private rooms. They would report for work on their own as expected and retire to their rooms freely. The rooms will be within the fenced prison complex. With time some prisoners would be vetted and released to stay with their families over weekends. They would report to the prison on Mondays for work, said an official at the Prison Commissioner Generals offices.

The official said Commissioner Paradzai Zimondi was keen to improve the welfare of prisoners in line with international standards. He said in some resourceful countries, prisoners reported to prisons for work from their homes.

The open prison facility would be ideal as offenders would be easily rehabilitated and integrated back into society as responsible citizens. Prisons are not meant for punishing offenders, but should rehabilitate them to become productive and responsible members of communities, said the official.

Saint Thomas Prison accommodates hundreds of inmates, both male and female. It is situated some 12 kilometers out of Marondera towards Chihota communal areas and was constructed during the colonial era.

Post published in: Politics

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