A national body of former prisoners have criticised prison rehabilitation programmes. Now an integration association has been set up in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Sekwanele association is concerned about the number of prisoners re-arrested after release and they have also criticised the Presidential parole. A month after more than 37 000 prisoners were released 43 were back behind bars. The alleged rape of an elderly women in KZN by a released prisoner is a case in point.
The number of parolees who were re-arrested between 2010 and 2011 numbered more than 1 000.
Grant Gunning is an ex-convict, he was arrested in 1992 for house-breaking and murder. He was released on parole a few weeks ago. He says not enough is being done to rehabilitate offenders.
"Once they get into prison with the overcrowding and obviously budget contrains from the department of correctional services, they aren't treated in a manner that they should be treated in, the programmes are just not enough," says Gunning.
Calls for a combined effort have been made. President of Sekwanele ex-convict integration South Africa, Fana Majola says: "The society also plays a role in this. When offenders are released we don't welcome them back and support them. If we don't then the person will go back and commit the same crime."
Meanwhile, correctional services says they are working towards transforming the rehabilitation programmes. They've also urged communities to welcome offenders back into society. More crime awereness programmes in schools have also been cited as a possible solution.