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Judicial CP - October 2003

Corpun file 12040
Botswana Daily News Online, 3 October 2003

Councillors urged to lobby for correctional measures

The Christian Business Gospel Outreach's Eitlhopha Mosinyi has called on South East District councillors to lobby for other correctional measures besides imprisonment.

Addressing a full council session, Mosinyi observed that many youths ended up in jail because of the adolescent stage, saying those in prisons deserved compassion just as those who find themselves in hospitals and other institutions due to adolescence behaviour.

She said corporal punishment was a better correctional measure for minor offences such as common assault, adding that this could help reduce congestion in prisons, which are over crowded to the extent that a cell with the capacity for 25 inmates holds 80 prisoners.

She called on the public not to stigmatize imprisonment by associating it with sinful deeds.

Mosinyi informed the council that her organisation cares for the disadvantaged through its prisons and hospital ministries.

She urged councillors to show compassion towards prisoners, saying "all of us have sinned, and it's only that others have not been caught." She regretted that her organisation had long pledged to donate a house to some destitute in the district, but the council has not yet identified the beneficiary. Christian Business Gospel Outreach has a spiritual and social rehabilitation centre in Mogoditshane where ex-prisoners are rehabilitated and equipped with vocational skills for six months.

Commenting on the presentation, Ramotswa North West's Willie Mogatle blamed parents for delaying consultations with relatives before the children get out of hand.

He cautioned that presiding officers need intensive training so that they can make informed decisions and avoid passing harsh sentences for lighter offences.

Ramotswa North Central's Alfred Kobe suggested that the council is not the best forum to address the issue, saying it is better addressed with chiefs and district commissioners, who pass judgement.

Ramotswa South's Orateng Moagi was shocked that the council had not responded to the Gospel Outreach's offer to build a house for a destitute when the district has so many destitute persons. BOPA

News Source: All local news stories were supplied by the Botswana Press Agency (BOPA)

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