Botswana: The role of the Parole Board is very critical in ensuring the successful rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-prisoners into mainstream society.
Speaking during the National Parole Board’s courtesy visit in Gaborone today, the Minister of Defence and Security, Thomas Kagiso Mmusi, commended the Members of the Board for their selflessness and commitment to the task entrusted to them.
He underscored that once released on Parole, prisoners are expected to successfully reintegrate into society as responsible, law-abiding and productive citizens. Mmusi, therefore, pointed out that recommending someone for conditional release is a very challenging task. Hence very vital for one to possess an open and objective mind to perform duty diligently.
He promised that through the Office of the Commissioner, his Ministry will always avail support to the Board so that it continues to effectively perform its duty. He said it is of utmost importance to ensure that the Prison Service is enhanced for proper and successful rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners.
On giving her remarks, the National Parole Board Chairperson, Justice Mercy Garekwe, expressed gratitude and appreciation to the Minister for the historic meet and greet session, which would pave the way for future meetings to share important Parole issues.
She said as an integral part of the Botswana Prison Service, established under Section 84 of the Prisons Act, the Board is tasked with the mammoth responsibility of conditional release of prisoners or supervised return to the community of prisoners before the expiration of their sentences as meted out by the Courts.
Justice Garekwe stated that Parole is conditional release awarded to prisoners mainly to support the rehabilitation of incarcerated persons and for their reintegration back into society in a manner that is safe for both the general public and the parolees themselves.
She further thanked the Commissioner of Prisons, Commissioner Dinah Marathe and her team for making the job of the Board easier through facilitation and ensuring that they perform their mandate with ease.