But on that day in Pollsmoor Prison, when a woman in her forties stood up to tell her imprisoned husband of the difficulties she encountered in raising their children alone, I came to understand that crime takes its toll not only on the victims but also on the families of the perpetrators.
The message that woman conveyed was that her sons, raised without a father's presence in their lives, were now following in their father's footsteps while she struggled to assert any kind of authority over them.
During the class, many others took their turn to speak out about how they had been impacted by the actions of their imprisoned children. In this emotionally charged atmosphere, some cried openly while others stifled sobs.
As tears welled up in my eyes, my attitudes were transformed.