This report captures the dialogue on the Prison Transformation System convened by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum on 6 June 2019 with various stakeholders. The dialogue was rooted in the quest for human dignity, especially for the most vulnerable members of society. It emphasised the importance of having conversations on prisoners’ rights, particularly the need to mainstream human dignity, correctional and rehabilitation aspects.
Quoting Fyodor Dostoevsky stated that it is true that prisons are a measure of our civilisation. Many may feel that the goal of prison transformation is too high to be achieved. Can a nation rehabilitate itself out of crime? There is a 2018 press report, which showed that the Netherlands is slowly closing prisons because the crime rate is going down. In comparison, the prisons in Zimbabwe remain overcrowded and conditions inhumane. The Forum and ZACRO study on Rights Behind Bars gives an insight into prison conditions.
The dialogue noted that the task for the transformation of the correctional system is indeed everyone’s duty. History has shown that everyone has a place in our prisons. A cabinet Minister today, a prisoner tomorrow. “It is our place to fix”.
Download the roundtable below