Prison officers have been challenged to play their part in the transformation of the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) facilities into fully fledged rehabilitation centres.

Speaking during a pass-out parade for 204 graduates that were made up of 31 females and 173 males who completed the assistant principal correction officer conversion course 1 of 2018 at the ZPCS Ntabazinduna Depot, the guest of honour from the Public Service Commission (PSC), Commissioner Stephen Ngwenya, described the course as important in the transformation of the ZPCS as it pursues the rehabilitation of inmates thrust.

Using the three months long strenuous course that sought to transform the participants from operatives into first line manager, Commissioner Ngwenya challenged the graduands to make full use of the training to be effective managers.

“As the organisation’s first line managers, you are now going to be responsible for ensuring that action the ground conforms to the organisation’s plans. Part of your task shall also include the supervision of all prison operations relative to junior staff work hence you are key drivers in facilitating the achievement our set goals in that you are also the cog wheels of the organisation. The idea of the organisation to train you as line managers was to add more and efficient oil as well as servicing the machinery upon which we rely on,” he said.

Commissioner Ngwenya went on to speak on the need for the graduates to execute the approach of rehabilitating inmates as a way of helping them to re-integrate into society easily.

“You will appreciate that the correctional work has transformed from the punitive and retributive approach to the rehabilitative approach. In view of this thrust, emphasis is now being put on rehabilitation with production where we are saying that inmates should be given an opportunity to learn some psychomotor skills for their successful reintegration into society as useful citizens,” Commissioner Ngwenya said.

The course covered topics such as prison regulations, prison administration, stores management, civic education, security principles, communication, problem solving and prosecution among others.