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Namibia

Namibian Correctional Service introduce community service orders in Khomas

todayJune 11, 2024 2

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By Josia Shigwedha

 

The Namibian Correctional Service (NSC) has expanded its community service orders programme to the Simeon Shixungileni court in Windhoek for offenders serving sentences between one to 12 months.

This programme will be implemented at what is locally known as the traffic court located at the corner of Sam Nujoma Drive and Simeon Shixungileni street. With this expansion, the correctional service has now reached 55 out of 71 courts, allowing offenders to serve their sentences through unpaid work that benefits the community.

Speaking at the roll out of the programme on Friday, Head of Division of Community Service Orders, Deputy Commissioner Natacha Booysen, stated that the correctional facilities faced overcrowding during the 2000s,which led to the implementation of the community service order in 2010.

Booysen explained the process of sentencing an offender, where a Community Service Orders officers will target first court appearances and offenders pleading guilty to minor offences, among others.

“We want to use community service orders for the objectives and for the aims that it’s having. So, we are saying community service orders should be unpaid work to the benefit of the community. It can be in different forms.All over the country and the world, community service orders started off with cleaning duties. We also started off with cleaning duties. We still conduct cleaning duties at schools, at clinics, hospitals, parks, police stations, courts. But we have realised that we need to move a little bit forward. We cannot just use offenders for cleaning. Not all offenders benefit from cleaning,”said Booysen.

In addition, NCS deputy commissioner general Mariana Martin stated since the implementation of the community service orders programme in 2010, over 3000 offenders have sentenced ,with 2827 successfully completing the programme.

Martin added that the NCS’s goal is to extend the programme to 71 courts in the next four years.

Community service orders programme will be implemented in partnership with the Namibian Police Force, Office of the Prosecutor General, Office of the Judiciary, and Windhoek City Police Service.

Five officers as well as a regional supervisor will be operating from the existng Simeon Shixungileni Street court.

Written by: Dilia Mazula

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