View Full Version : any 'inmates' here ?

February 15th, 2007, 12:57 PM
By James Archibald
15 February, 2007

Tuesday saw 13 female inmates at the Pollsmoor and Malmesbury correctional centres writing their OpenICDL examinations as part of their rehabilitation. This is the first computer skills programme of its kind for inmates in South Africa, and the first in the world for inmates writing the OpenICDL.

The computer course is being rolled out to correctional centres nationally and has been sponsored by the Shuttleworth Foundation, which donated 50 computers last year to the two centres.

Hilton Theunissen of Inkululeko Technologies, which has been responsible for the rollout of tuXlabs across the country, said that by tuXlabs being involved it saves the Department of Correctional Services on licencing fees and has the benefit of turning the prisons into testing centres.

The programme, which has been running for six months, aims at teaching advanced end-user computing skills, including the use of OpenOffice.org and the Linux desktop included in the tuXlab distro which is built on EduBuntu. Inmates are also given access to Wikipedia, which they can use for research and to further their studies

In addition to the 13 women who wrote the exam on Tuesday, there are an additional 30 men who will be writing next week. In total there are just over 140 people in the programme.

As Theunissen explained, this is in line with the Department's goals - rather than sitting around smoking and planning next crime, they are given an opportunity to better themselves and gain skills that they can use upon their release.

Addressing inmates at Pollsmoor, Correctional Services Minister Ngconde Balfour said, "This will also ensure that upon their release they actively participate in the activities that were meant for the development of their own communities."

"This is a very rare opportunity which offenders should see as an opportunity to open a new chapter in their lives of rehabilitation and social reintegration," he said.

One prisoner that was released in December last year, was so inspired by the programme that he came to volounteer at Tuxlabs and is now fixing PCs. He now plans to finish his full ICDL and to obtain his LPI.

For more information on the project, send an email to pumie@inkululeko.co.za

March 15th, 2008, 03:07 PM
Not an inmate, but love what they're doing! Wish they'd start something like that here in the US. So many inmates aren't stupid, FAR from it. They just don't what to do with themselves. Most are so smart that it makes them outcasts in the real world. Being able to use their brains/skills in such a way has to be a great way to build their self-esteem and realize their full potential in facing challenges.

Granted, some crimes are committed due to mental problems that need to be addressed. However, other crimes are simple committed because they are challenges.

I'm glad to see that there are some systems out there that recognize this. That mental illness is most times just a physical glitch in the brain and should be addressed as such. Stimulate the problem solving brain and you boost self-esteem, personal health and mental health.

Thanks for posting that information!


April 6th, 2008, 06:26 AM

so much more of a healing experience to do this (any) work with an OS such as Ubuntu than the ubiquitous M$-ware


July 1st, 2008, 11:03 AM

Didn't realise it was ubuntu women....

July 1st, 2008, 03:45 PM

August 24th, 2008, 06:59 PM
No offense to anyone, I endorse the idea, let's just hope it's good in practice too and that there won't be a future female Kevin Mitnick :)

August 24th, 2008, 07:01 PM
Hah, I used to live close to Pollsmoor.

Great idea, let's just hope it works!

August 27th, 2008, 09:30 PM
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