Press Releases
Press Releases

22 February 2022


The story of 55-year-old Jakobus Petroos receiving two life sentences for the rape and murder of young Reagan Gertse, while out on parole for a similar offense, is an indication that the Correctional Services system is broken.

I have written to the Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services, to request a meeting to discuss how NICRO can assist the department of correctional services to reduce the high recidivism rate among ex-offenders.

Currently, the system of parole seems to be putting communities at risk as offenders who are released from prison are very likely to commit the same offenses or worse. Instead of reintegrating offenders, prisons act more like 'universities of crime', hardening offenders due to the negative socialisation that takes place within those walls.

NICRO has a 111-year long history in the crime prevention and offender reintegration arena, which began with work in prisons. We have a proven track record of bringing about a change in behaviour on the part of offenders as our programmes are rooted in cognitive behavioural therapy, which addresses the underlying factors that lead people to commit crime.

Over the years we have found that most people can change, but unfortunately there are exceptions, like Mr. Petroos, and for people like this we have to have systems (and prisons) that work to protect society.

With that said, many offenders might have been successfully reintegrated, if they would have had access to our services. Instead, they unfortunately tend to become hardened criminals while in prison and exhibit the same behaviour when they are released.

NICRO has a record of impact in this area and we are willing to work with government to reduce recidivism rates, given adequate support.

Betzi Pierce