Message from Commissioner General, Retired

E. Shikongo 
Commissioner-General 
Namibian Correctional Service
 
The Namibian Correctional Service (NCS) has a primary mandate to provide a safe custody of offenders legally placed under its care by the court of law.
 
Our legal mandate is derived from the Namibian Constitution as well as the Namibian Correctional Service Act, Regulations, Directives and Standard Operating Procedures.
 
In 1997 our Cabinet and Legislature approved the Policy Document and Mission Statement of the Namibian Prison Service, which has become the foundation upon which the Ministry of Safety and Security has initiated its transformation Agenda.
 
The Mission requires us to do certain things which include, determining causes for criminal activities for every offender on admission to correctional facilities and managing the risk factors through research-based rehabilitation programmes.
 
This Mission has strategically guided the NCS for the last sixteen years providing us with an enduring vision and overriding rationale, but also setting in motion a persistent and focused search for best practices in corrections which could be adopted within a Namibian Context.
 
Our focus has been to transform the NCS from an essentially punitive system concerned only with imprisonment of offenders into a professionalised Correctional Service embracing a scientific and evidence-based approach to the way we organise, provide and manage rehabilitative and other correctional services to offenders.  Our firm belief is that this approach will allow for a higher degree of public safety in the end and that successful reintegration of released offenders into community shall be a national priority and not just a correctional priority.
 
This fundamental shift in the treatment of offenders conforms well to our national constitution as underlined by the Founding Father of the Namibian nation, His Excellency Dr. Sam Nujoma; at the time when creating the then Ministry of Prisons and Correctional Services in 1995.  He decreed that:
 
“The new Ministry of Prisons and Correctional Services will concentrate on the efficient running of Prison with emphasis on Correctional and Rehabilitation functions”.
 
The President of the Republic of Namibia, His Excellency Dr. Hifikepunye Pohamba officially launched our new Offender Risk Management Correctional Strategy in March 2011 which again marks an important moment in the history for the NCS.
 
The Offender Risk Management Correctional Strategy is the cornerstone of our focus for concentrating on the safe and successful reintegration of offenders into the community, which is regarded internationally as the ultimate goal for any modern correctional Agency.  Our sincere thanks to our political leadership for the support.
 
The former Executive Director of the ICPA, Mr Ed Wozniak has attended the launch of the ORMCS in recognition of our achievements, but as well, to start planning for the holding of the ICPA Annual Conference in Namibia in 2014. Our consultant on the development of the ORMCS, Dr Frank Porporino, who is also a current member of the ICPA Executive Board, has as well attended the launch to congratulate the NCS on its achievements.
 
Namibian Correctional Service has declared to become the best Correctional Service in Africa.  However we wish to go beyond this and join the ranks of the best Correctional Services in the world.