‘We want a second chance’ ?— parolees

THE KwaDukuza Municipality has overseen the first sitting between parolees, rehabilitated inmates and social partners to get a thorough understanding of issues faced by parolees in the municipal area, particularly their reintegration to society.

Respecting the significance and prominence of women, this pivotal meeting was presided over by the deputy mayor of KwaDukuza Municipality Dolly Govender.

Govender requested that the parolees and rehabilitated inmates play a more active role to prevent the youth from joining a life that will see them end up behind bars.

This endeavour is part of a variety of initiatives formed by mayor of KwaDukuza Municipality Ricardo Mthembu to advance a more co-ordinated communication system between the municipality and various consortia in communities to encourage public participation and provide a platform to respond to immediate issues within the ambit of the local authority.

Among issues parolees and rehabilitated inmates brought forward was that, when they seek jobs, employers discriminate against them even though they are the perfect candidate for the job. This circumstance therefore lures them back to the life they have escaped from.

They also indicated that, during imprisonment, they are afforded many opportunities to upskill themselves and are told that this should be sufficient for them to begin a new chapter where they ultimately become breadwinners. However, the reality is that employers don’t trust them to give them jobs.

The rehabilitated former inmates also stated that they are not safe in their communities because every time something wrong happens they are the prime suspects and the law supports that stigma in the community.

Ongoing meetings will be held to help address their concerns.