Botswana: Commissioner of Prisons – Commissioner Dinah Marathe has said the partnership with the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) will add value to the offender rehabilitation and reintegration initiatives, security, human resource capacitation and development.
Speaking during the signing of a Memorandum of the Understanding ceremony by the two institutions at Mahalapye today, she said through the collaboration, there will be an improvement in education and rehabilitation programmes as various programmes to be offered will equip inmates with marketable skills, thereby reducing reoffending.
She stated that the programmes will also give prisoners the power of knowledge to overcome their past and improve the quality of their lives. She said the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding is a huge incentive to both BPS and BIUST and commits both parties to a close partnership, mainly in the areas of research, technology and capacity building.
Through the collaboration, she said, the Prison Service is determined to improve its strategies and re-engineer internal business processes supporting the provision of safe custodial care and correction to offenders.
She said the initiative will also help to advance together towards a more inclusive economy, as the Service took a position to reposition and realign its processes in order to deliver relevant and sustainable programmes with high impact, as enshrined in the National Vision 2036.
Commissioner Marathe also highlighted that a Memorandum of Understanding is expected to have significant input, output and impact in influencing the results to be obtained from the training programmes and delivery of our customer perspective initiatives from the Prison Staff College.
In giving his remarks, the Vice Chancellor of Botswana International University of Science and Technology, Professor Otlogetswe Totolo, said their institution had been exposed to a number of research-excitable areas relevant to the Prison Service mandate.
He said as a research-based institution, BIUST has streamlined their activities along four major streams Natural Resource Management, Climate and Society, Frontiers of Science, and Innovative Technological Products and Services.
Professor Totolo highlighted that on the basis of these streams, one could easily tell that there is synergy between many areas upon which the partnership with the Prison Service will be anchored.
He said through the partnership, his institution should assist with a comprehensive Prisons Information Management System, which is very critical in safe custodial care. On driving their pillar of Social Relevance, Prof. Totolo stressed that there is a big role that BIUST can play alongside the Prison Service in terms of Prisoner Rehabilitation and Reintegration through skills development and transfer initiatives.
He stated that other areas of interest include Works and Infrastructure, Research and Statistical Analysis. He said this could be done through capacity building and training project management tools that can help in cost containment and the quality of work. “We will jointly explore the ways through which the Prison Service can reduce its utility bill through the adoption of alternative energy sources like biogas and solar,” he said.