A WELCOME SPEECH BY THE COMMISSIONER GENERAL OF PRISONS,
DR. JUMA A. MALEWA DURING THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE SADC FIRST MEETING FOR CORRECTIONS/PRISONS SUB COMMITTEE(C/PSC), JULIUS NYERERE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTRE,
DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA, ON 11th JUNE, 2017
- Minister for Home Affairs of the United Republic of Tanzania, Hon. Mwigulu L. Nchemba (MP);
- Distinguished Heads of Corrections, Prisons and Penitentiary Services of SADC Member States;
- Representatives of Heads of Corrections, Prisons and Penitentiary services of SADC Member States;
- Distinguished Delegates;
- Members of SADC Secretariat;
- Members of the Press;
- Invited Guests;
- Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is with great honour to welcome you all to this one day Meeting for Corrections/Prisons Sub-Committee of the SADC Member States which formally was the Sub-Sub Committee on Public Security Sub-Committee. It is obvious that many of you have travelled long distances from your home countries to attend this important meeting. On behalf of the Tanzania Prisons Service, I appreciate for coming and wish you active participation during the meeting and pleasant stay in Tanzania.
I was going through the records of the SADC meetings and realize that, the First Meeting of Corrections/Prisons Sub-Sub-Committee of the SADC under Public Security Sub-Committee was held at Arusha, Tanzania on November, 2006. Today, the First Meeting of Corrections/Prisons Sub-Committee after being elevated from Sub-Sub-committee is held here in Dar es salaam, Tanzania. We sincerely feel privileged to host the First Meetings of Corrections/Prisons of the SADC Member States.
Hon. Minister, the prisons systems have been in existence since the origin of mankind with a sole purpose of punishing those in conflict with the set laws, rules, standards and norms of a particular society. The nature of executing punishments differed from society to society and it has been changing with evolution of society. In Colonial Africa, the prisons served the interest of the colonial masters and it meant for punishment and oppression of indigenous people.
However, the modern Corrections/Prisons have sought for modern ways/means of dealing with those in conflict with the laws in the respective countries. Corrections/Prisons philosophy has taken a new face towards rehabilitation and re-integration of inmates rather than punishment. Rehabilitation of prisoners involves subjecting them to various programs while serving their sentences to make live in law abiding life on release. On the other hand, reintegration involves full community participation in the rehabilitation of prisoners, which is based on the truth that inmates comes from the society and ultimately go back to the society after completing their prison term.
Corrections/prisons within SADC Member States like other prisons system in the rest of the world have changed their philosophy to rehabilitation roles. The objective is not only behavioral change of prisoners but also imparting skills and knowledge while serving their sentences through various correctional programs to make them live as law abiding citizens and use acquired skills and knowledge to lead their lives on release. Competence in rehabilitation role to a great extent contributes to reduction of crimes within the society and makes the society safe which enable them to engage in social and economic activities.
Hon. Minister, as we all knows that most of our Corrections/Prisons institutions face a lot of challenges which impede efficiency in accomplishing our goals. Most of the challenges have been discussed in various forums like committee within SADC structure to find sustainable solutions. Also, we have been sharing experiences in good practices on administration and management of Correction/prisons through exchange visit and other areas for mutual benefits. I am happy to say that, so far we have made commendable improvements in the management of corrections and prisons within SADC Member States as per national, regional and international standards.
Thanks to our governments for the commitment and support provided to us in running and management of corrections and prisons institutions. I kindly appeal for more and full support from our governments, other stakeholders and community in general to enable achieving expected goals and targets.
I have no doubt that this meeting will thoroughly discuss pertinent issues and thereafter reach a common understanding. I humbly, urge the delegates to participate fully and make commendable contributions on the agendas so as to come out with notable resolutions.
Once again, I welcome you all and wish you a nice day as we progress with the meeting of Corrections/Prisons Sub-Committee of the SADC Member States.
Thank you for your kind attention.