Inmates are also human beings… Learn to separate their crimes from their individuality – Johannes
WINDHOEK – The treatment of inmates in Namibia by society has worried a young psychologist who had the honour of working with some of them, saying the one thing he got to find out about them is that they are normal human beings and people in general should learn to separate their crimes from their individuality.
Kadhila Simaneka Johannes is a 24-year-old University of Namibia alumnus who majored in psychology. “Inmates should be treated with a holistic approach, yet objective, to make them aware of the risk factors that exist in their communities and personal lives as this makes it easier to rehabilitate them by filling the gaps in their lives,” detailed Johannes to Youth Corner.
He further said inmates are talented individuals in several fields such as agriculture, woodwork, mechanics, tailoring and technical related fields and therefore deserve a chance to redeem themselves in society. “The community needs to give these offenders a chance by providing them with fair employment for them to showcase their skills and knowledge,” he said.
Johannes is a case management officer at the Namibian Correctional Service and his duties entail assessing offenders’ risks, needs, creating treatment plans which fall part of their rehabilitation package and providing primary psychological intervention which is counselling. “Counselling is part of my job with other responsibilities added,” he explained.
He is designated at Assessments and Reception where he receives new offenders and assesses 12 areas of their lives to find the risk factors and any previous psychological trauma that could explain their crime.
Young, determined and eager to change societies’ perceptions on inmates, Johannes expressed to Youth Corner that he has gone through the orientation process of counselling inmates, saying it was prodigious at first. The experience was extremely overwhelming because by that time he wasn’t trained on being a regimental person. Being a trained correctional officer made him look at the correctional system from a different perspective, which allowed him to enjoy his work.
He said there are things he wishes to know before counselling the inmates which include violence. “I wish I knew they are not violent, they are just normal Namibian citizens that unfortunately ended up at the wrong side of the law. You are probably wondering about inmates that committed extreme crimes being scary and violent – which is not the case at all times,” he stated.
2019-10-02 07:30:03 13 days ago