So I went to Pollsmoor Prison today ... not something you do everyday really. The Western Province Badminton Association (WPBA) runs a development program in the Female Prison, and today was the official launch of the program (after 4 months of the program actually running!). The WPBA goals in this area are simple really - prison is not only about punishment, but also about rehabilitation. Most of the prisoners, will, one day, be back in the society. It is therefore necessary to allow them some level of interaction, skills and base for them to re-enter society. Sport is one such link, and Pollsmoor offers other sports including cricket, football (soccer) and rugby.
While going to the playing area (which serves as the dining hall at other times), I saw other prisoners (although I did not interact with them), and young children, who are incarcerated with their mothers because they do not have anyone else ... I suppose it is better than foster care. I was later told that for the most part, most of the female prisoners treat the kids as their own, and the kids are actually loved and cared for very well ... most, as some prisoners, like the infamous Dina Rodrigues (who was incidentally being led to counseling when I arrived) are apparently not tolerated or liked by the general prison population.
As for the participants - they may not be out for a while. Some of the ladies, including the most accomplished player to date) are there for the long term - 10 to 20 years, serving for, amongst other crimes, murder and robbery. But I suppose, judgment has been passed, and they are serving their punishment ... it is up to the society to also make sure that they do not commit again, and most of all perhaps, do not allow for a scenario where they feel they need to commit a crime?
- I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).
05 December 2006
It was supposed to be bigger and better than ever before.And in most respects it was ... but the weather on Sunday just messed up all the plans. For the uninitiated, Obz Fest is a big street festival in Observatory, the hippie quarter of Cape Town. Lot sof great live music, "interesting" stall and good food.