n Acta Criminologica : African Journal of Criminology & Victimology - Implementing information technology for corrections in Africa : a case example of the Namibian Correctional Service automated offender management information system

Special Edition 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093


As corrections in the developing world moves away from punishment and towards the challenges of rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders, corrections officials are searching for ways to improve both their efficiency and effectiveness. Pursuing humane and professional correctional aims for the rehabilitation of offenders is a complicated task that requires multifaceted approaches and an inevitable embrace of modern management principles and strategies. The task is further exacerbated by the realities of a constant upsurge in offender populations, particularly because of an increase in the use of lengthier sentences. Corrections and prison services around the world, and increasingly in the developing world, are now expected to prove themselves as real contributors to public safety over the long term. In a fast-paced world where applications of technology are affecting every aspect of our lives, many prison services are falling behind and continue relying on traditional methods of organisational and offender population management. Various technologies to manage offenders are gaining popularity in the field of corrections but perhaps none offer as much potential to improve organisational functioning as offender management information systems. The Offender Management Information System that was recently implemented in Namibia is an automated and integrated data management system that records all of the key and relevant information related to management of offenders from intake to discharge. With a special focus on the Offender Management Information System of the Namibian Correctional Service, this article describes how the system functions and the requirements for its implementation. Challenges that can be expected in the development of any similar system, especially in Africa, are also discussed. The implications in terms of human capital, skills and finances required to manage such a system successfully are outlined.

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