NGOs ‘must help prison babies’

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Cape Town - Non-governmental organisations and other civil society structures should help improve the lives of children in prison, Western Cape prison head Delekile Klaas said on Wednesday.

Klaas's comments came after a round table meeting with concerned parties at Cape Town's Pollsmoor prison on Tuesday.

There were currently 17 babies jailed with their mothers in the Western Cape.

“These babies do not find themselves behind bars out of their own making. It is because they were born to someone who had committed a crime and had to do the time,” said Klaas.

He said better collaboration was needed with civil society organisations to secure a better quality of life for children born to jailed mothers.

“We need to consolidate the work that we do with stakeholders such as the department of social development and communities at large to ensure that these children have a brighter future,” he said.

At the same meeting on Tuesday, Correctional Services Inspecting Judge Vuka Shabalala expressed concern at the high number of young children languishing in correctional centres around the country.

Vuka said civil society formations and social welfare organisations dealing with children should partner with the government to address their plight. - Sapa


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