So, it is a brand-new year for us all. Compliments of the season to you and your loved ones; may it be an absolutely amazing year. I myself am aiming for a year to create more action and awareness regarding inmates and ex-offenders, starting right at the bottom with my ears to the floor.

So where were we left at?

Last year I spoke about my experience incarcerated. I spoke about my involvement with gangsterism, and I also spoke about reintegration and what actually needs to be done about the existing system. A system designed not to support the reintegration of ex-offenders but to only allow them to reoffend and end up back inside prison.

ALSO READ: Prison Journalism: Re-integrating offenders into society

What is the next step?

My NGO (Restore), that I am involved with as a researcher, has been involved with inmates inside and outside, assisting with programs and support. However, this year I believe we need to dig down to the very bottom of the failed system and table the fundamentals that are set in place and start the setup or structure to devise a system that supports ex-offenders. Working our way up step by step, gathering as much as possible, including communities, government, and all the role players, and start working on changes to change the cycle of crime and violence in this beloved country into peace and love.

ALSO READ: Prison Journalism: New Year in Jail

Who needs to be exposed?

We’ve got quite a bunch of people who could be subject to scrutiny. But let’s be real as South Africans, corruption runs deep, and it is pretty unsettling! However, there are many officials that need to be exposed and be made aware that we as ex-offenders are not going to rest until the system has been connected to support us. We are still South African citizens, and we are so badly in need of waking up for the better, for every single South African citizen.

ALSO READ: Prison Journalism: The destruction of corruption

Who needs to be on board?

The government is one of the main three that has to be a major priority, along with the prison and the system lastly, the community. All three mentioned above need to be partially involved if we are to succeed in setting up a new system in regard to support workshops, systems, etc. Secondly, I firmly believe that finance is a major problem when a shift takes place, especially for the vision of change. So, if those are in a position to donate, then please do so. Also, you also play a huge role in assisting; there are so many ways that you can get involved to support our cause!

In ending this article for the beginning of a new year, I want to thank God above for allowing me to be capable of the wisdom granted for me to see a light and way forward! For without God, I will not have been able to do so. I also need to say thank you to the South African newspaper for granting me the platform to get my message across. For the NGO (Restore), I am forever grateful for Lisa, Grant, and my fellow researchers. Let us make this change; we all get together once a month and sit down and discuss ways forward possible.

If you feel the need to contribute toward one mission, please feel free to check on or reach out to the right people. Many thanks. Best wishes for the new year!

ALSO READ: Prison Journalism: Christmas behind bars

DISCLAIMER: Submission published as received

RESTORE is an NGO based in Cape Town, South Africa, providing inmates at Pollsmoor Prison with restorative justice opportunities.

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