Internal stakeholders' perceptions on the role of faith-based rehabilitation programmes for offenders in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal.
Nqoko, Siphumulile Joy.
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Faith-based prison rehabilitation programmes play a role in the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders through the use of religious doctrines. Numerous studies have been conducted on the impact these programmes have on offenders however there is a dearth in literature within the South African context. Furthermore, the role of these programmes has not been clearly understood even though they are extensively used in prison facilities especially in South Africa. The main purpose of the study was to explore the internal stakeholders’ perceptions of the role and impact of faith-based rehabilitation programmes as a tool to rehabilitate offenders and reintegrate them with their families and communities. The Pietermaritzburg area of KwaZulu-Natal Province is the location of this qualitative study. Due to the qualitative nature of the study, an exploratory research design was used to capture the aspect of the study. Such a complementary approach is intended to enhance better understanding of the participants’ views regarding the role of faith-based programmes in the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders. Semi-structured interviews constituted the qualitative data collection mechanism with a sample size of seven internal stakeholders who were included according to the purposive or judgement sampling technique. The findings of this study revealed that faith-based rehabilitation programmes for offenders play a pivotal role in the teaching and learning environment where such activities are facilitated by the relevant role players, such as mentors. These study findings also highlight the positive impact that the programme has through its spiritual undertone which works as a moral regeneration tool in the rehabilitation of offenders. Furthermore, the sense of belonging and restoration of family ties was highlighted as one of the positive outcomes achieved through active participation in the programme.