Recently the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office in collaboration with the Western Cape Department of Social Development; the National Institute for Crime Prevention and Re‐integration of Offenders (NICRO) and the Prison Care and Support Network (PCSN) held a roundtable discussion on Prison and the Family which sought to place the spotlight on the families of the incarcerated. The roundtable was addressed by Venessa Padayachee of NICRO; Nina Richards of the PCSN; Louise Honeyman of Forgiven Ministries and as well as the mother of a son who is presently in prison. The broad range of participants at the roundtable included organizations working with offenders and their families; Correctional Service officials; health and social work practitioners; parliamentary researchers; academics and those who had spent time in prison. The challenges of restoring families and the many difficulties in providing services were discussed. Other issues raised included the high number of prisoners on remand; repeat offenders; the long distances family members have to travel to visit family members in prison; prison overcrowding and the prevalence of TB among the incarcerated. Many of those present were involved in enervative programmes to address these issues and reduce the stigma of prison and cultivate family resilience. As the White Paper on Correctional Services asserts “the achievement of rehabilitation is premised on the building of healthy familial relations”.
L-R: Louise Honeyman (Forgiven Ministries), Nina Richards (PCSN), Veronica Weier (PCSN), moderator, Felicity Harrison (Goedgedacht Forum), and Venessa Padayachee (NICRO)