Image via Unsplash

Prison Journalism: My Journey from release to renewal

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


Image via Unsplash

Two weeks after my release from prison, I made a decision to ensure that I NEVER have to go back there. I needed to find certain things for myself. These ‘things’ I speak of are not all that easy to maintain! Keeping to this is easier said than done!

My Path towards Transformation

This is how my life will be lived according to certain manners. My character is a part of what makes me able to fit into communal living. I have always considered myself a ‘child of the world.’ Let us now say that I am in the ideal of wanting to become a ‘citizen of the world,’ improved by design. My decision needed to be resolute and thoughtful. I had to take my inventory. My inventory requires bravery, honesty, and savviness! Not that easy!

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However, I am determined to commit to this decision to improve my situation. What I decided to do was get it managed so I need never struggle. Way too complicated for my conscience. This is my point-by-point plan to change. In order to survive – then – live is what I need:

1. Job

2. Transport

3. Accommodation

4. Girlfriend

5. Sobriety

6. Friends

7. God!

ALSO READ: Prison Journalism: Re-integrating offenders into society

Family Foundations

Now, my only and best support needed to come from my family. No other reason than that they never looked me up. Nor did they do anything but to send me there. However, my support, based on the word ‘based’ meaning foundation, would be the first step.

I cannot imagine that such a huge department — DCS — has no intention of ensuring that I am not coming back to the centre.

Sheer Determination

I am determined to make my changes. Regardless of my situation, there is a way to get over it. I had never needed to pull myself towards myself like this. That I wanted to make my best attempt to meet my potential.

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Potential Visible

I am aware that we all have potential as it is all by all. We need to apply! There needs to be some kind of order and form to go by.

The ‘Revolving Door System’

Over the years, I have come to understand that the ‘revolving door system’ that former United States President Ronald Reagan mentioned, that ‘something needs to change,’ is that when offenders are released, the system needs support with all its force and power. There is every possible means to possibly help us fellows out of!

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My plan proposed!

My best suggestion is that our department should use ex-offenders and the business sector (corporate responsibility) to give work and to handle homes that we may call halfway houses to get the best chance of rehabilitating offenders!

This would be the ultimate renewal, and I would be able to pay it forward!

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

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