Image by Pexels

Prison Journalism: Making the best of all of it!

Jonno Knowles was incarcerated in Pollsmoor Prison and participated in restorative justice while inside the prison.


Image by Pexels

During the course of my life, I have been so fortunate to have met and lived with folks from many walks of life.

People are…

Thanks to my wonderfully magnificent, fully astounding family, I have had one wonderful gift bestowed upon me: ACCEPTANCE. Not of mediocrity nor of anything less than the best. Because I deserve this. I was taught to be humble and to treat every individual the way I would have them treat me. My grandpa, may he rest in peace, let me know from the very minute I could understand, “Never let any person treat you differently. You are no less than nor more than the next individual.”

…Special Kinds

Then there are those who are simply a special kind and need to be… treated as such. The persons that are not everyday people. Gems. I have been fortunate enough to have encountered these types. In the most unlikely of places. On the street, where one has endured severe hardships and hatred, the special one will almost always be there to guide and encourage me. When I look at their circumstances, they are going through much more than I could handle.

Character is Champion

It takes the toughest of times to see what really makes us. Being in prison was a true test of character. Alone. Uncertain. Ashamed. Became known. Confident. Proud. Not of what I had done, but rather of the man that I had become. I was able to emerge out of the other end stronger, wiser, and enthusiastic about my future and the direction I want to take as a human being.

Impossible or Improbable

The challenge we face in this lifetime is not to determine my lifestyle. Impossible? No, my lifestyle is determined by my lifetime. Improbable? Not in the manner in which I treat others, that shall determine the manner in which others treat me. My personal belief is that true character is found under severe pressure situations: war, hospital, sports teams, street life, prison!!

All unique experiences that bond us, no matter what!

I will always have your back.

DISCLAIMER: Submission published as received

Should you wish to assist in the rehabilitation of former inmates and help put money into the pockets of those who have struggled to earn a living during and after incarceration, click HERE 

RESTORE is an NGO based in Cape Town, South Africa, providing inmates at Pollsmoor Prison with restorative justice opportunities.

If you have any questions you would like to ask our prison journalists, WhatsApp us on 060 011 0211.

Do you have contact with a prison inmate who would like to write for The South African website? If so, send an email to or a WhatsApp to 060 011 0211.

You can also follow @TheSAnews on Twitter and The South African on Facebook to get the latest prison journalism articles.