Caring for Prisoners to Turn Lives Around
Crime and violence affect everybody worldwide; South Africa being no exception.
The desperate plight of a poor, dysfunctional family life and a lack of love often lead to negative behaviour. Often this results in serious crime and in turn imprisonment.
Although society might feel justice is being served through the prison system, there is an enormous impact on prisoners’ families, especially children, who are left broken and destitute.
Prison Care & Support Network (PCSN)
In the Cape Town archdiocese, the Prison Care & Support Network (PCSN) strives to create hope among the imprisoned, ex-offenders and their families, and to restore a sense of humanity in our communities.
The PCSN seeks to respond to the spiritual, emotional and material needs of those affected.
Although the work of chaplains, priests and volunteers is challenging, it is done with tremendous love and selflessness. This is evident by their commitment through the years that many have served.
One of the PCSN’s most successful programmes is Restorative Justice, run in various prisons.
The Restorative Justice Programme
The Restorative Justice team works closely with willing offenders to encourage them to understand the consequences of their actions on the victim, the victim’s family, as well as their own family, leading all stakeholders to a restoration in relationships.
The team ensures that the dignities of the victim, offender and families are respected without any form of discrimination or intimidation.
In addition to the spiritual and emotional support to those imprisoned, the PCSN also seeks to prepare them for reintegration into society after release.
However, once released, many ex-offenders find that their sentences are still not complete, for the public’s judgmental perception of them is often the toughest trauma to bear.
Once Released Ex-Prisoners and their Families Need Help
The PCSN, with the help of donors, tries to bring relief by providing food, nutritional parcels, school support and other help.
Although not nearly enough, the help is much appreciated, especially in families where there are children who suffer due to malnutrition and lack of basic educational needs.
With a spiralling crime rate and an increase in poverty across all social lines, the task is huge and the need great.
To help, as a volunteer or with material or monetary donations, contact the PCSN office on 021 531 1348 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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