Studying in prison

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part of Corrections in South Africa

Operation Funda

Operation Funda (meaning "learn") is one of the Department of Correctional Service's flagship projects, launched by the Minister in January 2011 to enhance offenders' access to education and training to equip them for effective and sustainable social re-integration. Young people between the ages of 18 and 25 constitute 69% of the offender population. There are 13 dedicated youth facilities nationally. The purpose of the correctional system is not punishment, but protection of the public, promotion of social responsibility and enhancing human development to prevent repeat offending or the return to crime. The department insists that people who leave correctional centres must have appropriate attitudes, and competencies for them to successfully integrate back into society as law-abiding and productive citizens. From April 2013, it was compulsory for every inmate to complete Adult Basic Education and Training levels 1 to 4.

For more information go to [1] on operation funda in DCS


Educational programmes

In August 2015, 3 034 learners attended the Correctional Services Learnership Programme. A total 75 595 offenders completed correctional programmes in the 2015/16 financial year and 24 590 offenders completed a prerelease programme. Some 11 548 offenders attended educational programmes as per the daily programme attendance register. The number included both offenders who attended Adult Education and Training and Further Education and Training programmes. The Department achieved 73% (81/111) pass rate for 2015.

For more information go to [2] on educational programmes in DCS


Prisoners better themselves by graduating with degrees

Six inmates obtained degrees, 19 received diplomas and another 91 certificates.

Graduation ceremony for Gauteng prisoners

Pretoria - For 170 inmates from prisons across Gauteng, months of hard work and determination paid off on Wednesday when they were awarded their certificates, diplomas and degrees during a graduation ceremony at Pretoria Prison. With their friends and family looking on, the inmates, who had swapped their prison overalls for gowns, proudly took to the stage during the ceremony which was presided over by the University of South Africa (Unisa) and officials from the Department of Correctional Services

Benjamin Baloyi of Johannesburg Prison, who is serving a life sentence for murder and robbery, obtained nine distinctions in his LLB. Baloyi dropped out of school in Grade 11 before he was sent to prison. But then he decided to follow his lifelong dream. [3] by KARABO SEANEGO-9 September 2010. For more information go to [4]

Bard College in the USA

From their "What we do" page: "The Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) creates the opportunity for incarcerated men and women to earn a Bard College degree while serving their sentences. The academic standards and workload are rigorous, based on an unusual mix of attention to developmental skills and ambitious college study. The rate of post-release employment among the program’s participants is high and recidivism is stunningly low. By challenging incarcerated men and women with a liberal education, BPI works to redefine the relationship between educational opportunity and criminal justice."

Visit the Bard Prison Initiative website - [5].