2INVOLVE’s ‘Rights & Responsibilities’ Programme is designed to create an expansion of the efforts by the criminal justice practitioners, to foster the trust and confidence of communities and empower practitioners within the various criminal justice institutions to be able to adequately perform their role in society. Many individuals within the community have little if any understanding of the roles and functions of the Police, Courts and Correctional Services. The Rights & Responsibilities Programme has been designed to open the lines of communication between the community and the various criminal justice institutions thereby overcoming issues of trust, through education and collaboration, between the police and the community.
To the average person, it may frequently appear that the police are not doing their job or are exceeding their boundaries. By allowing community members a firsthand look at what rules, regulations and policies the police follow, some of the misunderstanding may be alleviated.
The goal of the Rights & Responsibilities Programme is to promote a better relationship between practitioners within the criminal justice system and the community it serves and to foster a clearer understanding of how each practitioner discharges their duties. Most importantly, confidence and understanding of the various institutions will enable community members to engage with and hold the service providers to account. It will also provide community members with a unique insight into the workings of the criminal justice system by enabling them to meet and hear from (in a structured programme) a range of practitioners, including police, correctional service officers, attorneys and others.
The programme instructors/facilitators are comprised of police officers, correctional officers, attorneys, magistrates/judges, civilian police staff members, NGO staff and academics. The programme is professionally structured and officers will present course modules in a ‘classroom’ setting, describing for example the role of policing a modern society, and will be available to field any questions that arise from the ‘classroom’ instruction. The ‘classes’ will also survey the basics of the work of correctional services including the parole board and provide an overview of how the various departments interface with the rest of the criminal justice system. In the latter stages of the programme a ‘mock trial’ using members of the community/young learners and attorneys will provide the community members/young learners on the programme with an insight into the actual workings of the criminal court system. The ‘Rights & Responsibilities Programme’ is comprised of 7 two hour sessions which can be delivered according to needs of the community or learners. The final module of the programme will include a graduation ceremony where certificates will be presented by a senior member of the criminal justice system. There is no fee for attending the Rights & Responsibilities Justice Programme.