Criminology and Forensic Studies Postgraduate Students Selected for Bursaries
The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (SASSETA) have given 40 postgraduate UKZN students bursaries worth R2 million.
The Criminology and Forensic students in turn will gain experience assessing inmates within a correctional centre in KwaZulu-Natal.
Professor Shanta Balgobind Singh of the School of Applied Human Sciences (Criminology and Forensic Studies) said the students, who are mainly pursuing postgraduate qualifications in Criminology and the Social Sciences, were selected on the basis of their academic prowess.
The Memorandum of Understanding initiated by Singh between DCS and UKZN was finalised last year.
‘The bursaries are a huge financial injection into the postgraduate cohort of students within the Discipline. Through this initiative, students who were previously unable to continue with their studies due to financial constraints, are able to pursue their postgraduate studies,’ said Singh.
A delegation of DCS officials and representatives from the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority held an orientation session on Howard College campus.
Speaking at the session, DCS’s Mr Monacks said the mutually beneficial programme would provide students with financial assistance and most importantly work experience as they would volunteer at correctional facilities, interviewing offenders and assessing them.
Monacks said the programme, which has been running for a few years, initially started at UNISA and the University of Pretoria, and has since been rolled out at the University of Zululand and UKZN.
Correctional Services’ Dr Plaatjies, who gave a brief overview of Correctional programmes, said that pre-1994, they ‘locked up offenders and threw away the key’. She emphasised that the focus was now on rehabilitation and respecting human rights.
Programmes run include anger management, substance abuse, behaviour modification (for gangs), economic crimes and a newly-developed programme for female offenders.
DCS’s Mr Sihlangu outlined the assessment tools used to develop profiling and sentence planning for offenders, saying the tools would assist students to identify basic needs and risk factors.
Mr Nesengani of Community Profiling focused on the introduction to community profiling and stressed the importance of reintegrating offenders back into the community once they had been paroled or released.
Singh will serve on the National Board of DCS to help oversee the implementation of this project.