South Africa

English

South Africa became independent of Britain on 31 May 1961. South Africa become a union comprised of Boer (settlers of Dutch descent) republics in the north and the British colonial areas in 1910. There was a qualified suffrage in parts of the Union for indigenous African people living in the Union during this time, but land and power was largely in the hands of people of European descent.

Coming to power in 1948, the National Party instituted a policy of "apartheid", which was conceived as separate development of the four racial categories of people in South Africa and denial of suffrage within South Africa itself to African people, who were supposed to vote in their ten tribal "homelands" (not recognised by any state). A whites-only referendum lead to South Africa becoming a Republic in 1961.

Internal and external opposition to apartheid culminated in 1990 leading to the freeing from imprisonment for treason of Nelson Mandela, the leading figure in the African National Congress (ANC), and a negotiated settlement in the form of the 1993 (interim) constitution.

South Africa became a democratic state with universal suffrage on 27 April 1994, with Nelson Mandela as President. He was succeeded by Thabo Mbeki who in turn was succeeded by Jacob Zuma, all of the ANC, which has held a large majority of Parliamentary seats since 1994.

South Africa has a mixed legal system based on English common law, Roman-Dutch civil law and customary law.

South Africa has a final constitution dating from 1996, based on agreed constitutional provisions in the 1993 constitution. The Constitution has provisions providing that everyone has the right not to be detained without trial, and not to be treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way. Arrested persons have the right to be released if the interests of justice permit. Accused persons have the right to have their trial begin and conclude without unreasonable delay. Torture was criminalised in 2013.

The laws of South Africa are available here.

 ACJR has been active in South Africa since 2003. It has contributed to all the major policy engagements and reforms relating the country’s prisons framework, and has increasingly worked in the other dimensions of the criminal justice system.

Its applied research has addressed a broad range of issues, such as the impact of mandatory minimum sentences on the size of the prison population, children in prison, challenges of the remand detention system, the lack of efficiency of the National Prosecution Authority, the allocation of police resources, the implementation of the UN Convention against Torture in South Africa and a review of the operations of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services.

ACJR has made numerous submissions to the South African Parliament, including on the work of the Jali Commission, the White Paper on Corrections, minimum sentences, changes to bail legislation, the parole system, the criminalisation of torture, the prevalence of torture by law enforcement officials, and effective oversight and accountability over the police and prison authorities. It has also made annual submissions to Parliament on relevant departmental budgets and annual reports.

ACJR was instrumental in campaigning for the criminalisation of torture and initiated litigation in 2004 to secure the right to vote for prisoners (Minister of Home Affairs v NICRO).

Similarly, ACJR has made numerous submissions before international and regional mechanisms, including the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the UN Committee against Torture, the UN Human Rights Committee and through the Universal Periodic Review.

ACJR has engaged with several government departments and has provided technical assistance to the Department of Correctional Services, the Department of Justice and the Western Cape Department of Community Safety.

ACJR staff has given expert testimony in several judicial and quasi-judicial processes, including on allegations of torture at St Albans prison and before the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry.

ACJR engages with numerous civil society organisations active in the country, from collaborating on research projects to hosting and contributing to workshops and seminars to developing proposals for policy reform. The organisations we are collaborating with, or have collaborated with, include Just Detention International (JDI) - South Africa, Wits Justice Project, Sonke Gender Justice, Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), Legal Resources Centre (LRC), Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders (NICRO) and the Detention Justice Forum (DJF).

ACJR is a member of the South African Human Rights Commission’s Section 11 Committee on Torture.

 

French

L' Afrique du Sud a acquit son indépendance de la Grande-Bretagne le 31 Mai 1961. En 1910 elle devint une fédération composée de républiques Boer (colons d'origine hollandaise) dans le nord et des régions coloniales britanniques. Il existait alors de sérieuses souffrances pour le peuple indigène dans la fédération. La terre et le pouvoir étaient largement maintenus entre les mains des personnes d'ascendance européenne.

Arrivé au pouvoir en 1948, le Parti national institua une politique d '«apartheid», conçue comme un développement séparé des quatre catégories raciales de personnes vivant en Afrique du Sud ; ainsi que du déni du droit de vote -au sein de l'Afrique du Sud elle même- aux peuples africains qui étaient censés voter dans leurs entités tribales  «tribal homelands» (cependant non reconnues par aucun État). En 1961, un référendum auquel ne participa que la population blanche conduit à l’institution de la République l’Afrique du Sud.

L’opposition interne et externe à l'apartheid a culminé en 1990, conduisant à la libération de Nelson Mandela - figure de proue de l'African National Congress (ANC)- emprisonné pour trahison ; et à un accord négocié sous forme de Constitution (provisoire)  de 1993.

L'Afrique du Sud devint un État démocratique au suffrage universel du 27 avril 1994 qui mit Nelson Mandela à la présidence du pays. Il fut remplacé par Thabo Mbeki, à son tour remplacé par Jacob Zuma ; tous le tout de l'ANC qui par ailleurs occupe une grande majorité des sièges au Parlement depuis 1994.

L'Afrique du Sud est dotée d'un système judiciaire mixte, basé sur le common law, le droit civil romano- germanique et le droit coutumier.

La constitution finale de l'Afrique du Sud date de 1996, conçue sur base des dispositions adoptées dans la Constitution de 1993. La Constitution de 1996 contient des dispositions prévoyant que toute personne a le droit de ne pas être détenue sans procès et de ne pas être traitée ou punie de manière cruelle, inhumaine ou dégradante. Les personnes arrêtées ont le droit d'être libérées si les intérêts de la justice le permettent. Les accusés ont le droit de voir leur procès commencer et se terminer dans un délai raisonnable. La torture fut érigée en infraction en 2013.

La législation sud-africaine est disponible ici.

L'ACJR travaille en Afrique du Sud depuis 2003. Elle a contribué à tous les grands développements de politiques publiques et les réformes liés au cadre pénitentiaire du pays. Au cours des dernières années, elles a également comencé à travailler sur les autres questions liées à la justice pénale.

Sa recherche appliquée a abordé un large éventail de questions, telles que l'impact des peines minimales obligatoires sur la taille de la population carcérale, les mineurs détenus, les défis du système de détention provisoire, le manque d'efficacité du Procureur de la République (National Prosecution Authority), l'allocation des ressources au différents corps de police, la mise en œuvre de la Convention des Nations Unies contre la torture en Afrique du Sud et l'examen des deux mécanismes de surveillance des opérations de la police et des services pénitentiaire, à savoir le Indepndent Police Investigation Directorate et le Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services.

L'ACJR a fait de nombreuses soumissions au Parlement sud-africain, y compris sur le travail de la Commission Jali (ayant enquêté sur la corruption au sein du service pénitentiaire sud-africain), le Livre blanc sur les services correctionnels (document proposant le développement de politiques publiques), les peines minimales, les modifications apportées à la législation sur la libération provisoire sous caution, le système de libération conditionnelle, la criminalisation de la torture, la commission d'actes de torture par les forces de l'ordre et les mécanismes permettant le contrôle des actions de la police et des autorités pénitentiaires. L'ACJR a également fait des communications annuelles au Parlement sur les budgets ministériels pertinents et les rapports annuels.

L'ACJR a joué un rôle déterminant dans la campagne pour la criminalisation de la torture et a lancé un litige en 2004 pour garantir le droit de vote aux détenus (Minister of Home Affairs vs NICRO).

De même, l'ACJR asoumis de nombreux rapports aux mécanismes internationaux et régionaux, y compris la Commission africaine des droits de l'homme et des peuples, le Comité des Nations Unies contre la torture, le Comité des droits de l'homme des Nations Unies et l'Examen périodique universel.

L'ACJR collabore avec de nombreux ministères et a fourni une assistance technique au Ministère des Affaires Pénitentiaires, au Ministère de la Justice et au Ministère provincial (province du Cap-Ouest) de la Sécurité.

Le personnel de l'ACJR a témoigné en tant experts dans plusieurs processus judiciaires et quasi judiciaires, y compris sur des allégations de torture à la prison de St Albans et devant la Commission d'enquête de Khayelitsha (examinant la question de l'inefficacité des services de police dans cette commune).

L'ACJR collabore avec de nombreuses organisations de la société civile actives dans le pays, à travers le développement de projets de recherche, l'organisation et la participation à des ateliers et séminaires et l'élaboration de propositions de réforme des politiques publiques. Les organisations avec lesquelles nous collaborons ou avons collaboré incluent Just Detention International (JDI) - Afrique du Sud, Wits Justice Project, Sonke Gender Justice, Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), Legal Resources Centre (LRC), Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders  (NICRO) et le Detention Justice Forum (DJF).

L'ACJR est membre du Comité sur la torture (section 11) de la Commission sud-africaine des droits de l'homme, qui rassemble tous les acteurs dans le pays ayant un intérêt dans l'analyse des questions de torture dans le pays.

 

Portuguese

A África do Sul tornou-se independente da Grã-Bretanha em 31 de Maio de 1961. Em 1910, a África do Sul tornou-se uma união composta pelas Repúblicas Bóer (colonos de ascendência holandesa) do norte e as áreas coloniais Britânicas. Um sufrágio oficial reconheceu as áreas da União para os Africanos indígenas que viviam na União durante este tempo, mas a terra e o poder era em grande parte nas mãos de pessoas de ascendência Europeia.

Chegando ao poder em 1948, o Partido Nacional criou uma política de "apartheid", baseada no desenvolvimento separado das quatro categorias raciais de pessoas na África do Sul e na negação de sufrágio aos povos Africanos, que deveriam votar nas dez "pátrias" tribais (não reconhecidas por algum estado). Em 1961, um referendo liderado só pelos brancos  tornou a África do Sul numa República.

Em 1990, a oposição interna e externa ao apartheid amentou, levando à libertação da prisão por crime de traição de Nelson Mandela, a figura de liderança no Congresso Nacional Africano (African National Congress, ANC), e uma solução negociada sob forma de constituição (interina), em 1993.

Em 27 de Abril de 1994, a África do Sul tornou-se um Estado democrático com sufrágio universal e com Nelson Mandela como presidente. Ele foi sucedido por Thabo Mbeki, que por sua vez foi sucedido por Jacob Zuma, todos do ANC, partido que ocupa a maioria dos assentos parlamentares, desde 1994.

A África do Sul tem um sistema jurídico misto baseado no direito comum Inglês, direito civil romano-holandês e direito consuetudinário.

A África do Sul tem uma Constituição que data de 1996, com base em disposições constitucionais de 1993. A Constituição tem disposições que preveem para todas as pessoas o direito de não ser detidas, sem julgamento, e não ser tratadas ou punidas de uma forma cruel, desumana ou degradante. As pessoas detidas têm o direito de ser liberada se o interesse de justiça o permite. Os arguidos têm o direito a um julgamento que começa e termina sem demora injustificada. A tortura foi criminalizada em 2013.

As leis da África do Sul estão disponíveis aqui.

A ACJR tem estado ativa na África do Sul desde 2003, contribuindo para todos os principais compromissos políticos e reformas relativas ao sistema prisional do país e tem trabalhado cada vez mais nas outras dimensões do sistema de justiça criminal.

As suas pesquisas aplicadas abordaram um vasto leque de questões, tais como o impacto das penas mínimas obrigatórias sobre a população prisional, as crianças encarceradas, os desafios do sistema de prisão preventiva, a falta de eficácia do National Prosecution Authority, as alocações de recursos da Polícia, a implementação da Convenção das Nações Unidas contra a Tortura na África do Sul e uma revisão das operações da Independent Police Investigative Directorate e do Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services.

A ACJR fez numerosas apresentações ao Parlamento Sul-Africano, incluindo sobre o trabalho da Comissão Jali, o White Paper sobre o Serviço Penitenciário, sentenças mínimas, alterações à legislação sobre caução, o sistema de liberdade condicional, a criminalização da tortura, a prevalência de tortura por agentes policiais, uma supervisão eficaz e prestação de contas sobre as autoridades policiais e penitenciárias. Apresentou também ao Parlamento relatórios anuais sobre os orçamentos departamentais e os relatórios anuais pertinentes.

A ACJR foi fundamental na campanha para a criminalização da tortura e iniciou contenciosos em 2004 para assegurar o direito de voto para os prisioneiros (Minister of Home Affairs contra a NICRO).

Da mesma forma, a ACJR fez numerosas apresentações junto aos mecanismos internacionais e regionais, incluindo a Comissão Africana dos Direitos Humanos e dos Povos, o Comitê contra a Tortura das Nações Unidas, o Comitê de Direitos Humanos da ONU e a Revisão Periódica Universal.

A ACJR trabalhou com vários departamentos governamentais e prestou assistência técnica ao Departamento de Serviços Correccionais, ao Departamento de Justiça e ao Departamento de Segurança Comunitária do Cabo Ocidental.

A equipa da ACJR prestou peritos em vários processos judiciais e quase-judiciais, incluindo sobre alegações de tortura na prisão de St. Albans e perante a Comissão de Inquérito de Khayelitsha.

A ACJR trabalha com numerosas organizações da sociedade civil que atuam no país, desde a colaboração em projetos de pesquisa até a realização de workshops e seminários e o desenvolvimento de propostas de reforma de políticas. As organizações com as quais colaboramos ou que têm colaborado incluem Just Detention International (JDI) - South Africa, Wits Justice Project, Sonke Gender Justice, Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), Legal Resources Centre (LRC), Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders (NICRO) e o Detention Justice Forum (DJF).

A ACJR é membro da Comissão Sul-Africana dos Direitos Humanos, Secção 11 - Comitê sobre a Tortura.

A Review of Civilian Oversight over Correctional Services in the Last Decade (Research Paper No. 4)
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 11, 2003

The restricted and hidden nature of the prison regime was dramatically apparent in apartheid South Africa, where prisons shunned outside scrutiny and engagement in all correctional matters. The correctional system was an inherent part of the political apparatus that upheld the apartheid state. Prisoners were segregated according to race, and the staff hierarchy echoed similar racial lines. The adoption of the Bill of Rights in firstly the interim and then the final Constitution in 1993 and 1996 finally established the right of prisoners to be treated with human dignity and set out the mandatory minimum rights of people deprived of their liberty and those held in custody. These guideline principles, later amplified in the Correctional Services Act of 1998, seek to define how the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) should implement its correctional mandate in keeping people in custody. Recognising the importance of accountability and oversight mechanisms in respect of public institutions, the Constitution created vehicles for civilian oversight. Mechanisms were also created to focus exclusively on prisons. A decade after this transition, it is timeous to evaluate how these mechanisms are functioning, and to what extent they are serving their envisaged purpose.

Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel and Inhumane Treatment (Research Paper No. 2)
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 11, 2003

South African ratified the UN Convention Against Torture in December 1998 and played a significant role in the drafting of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT). The UN General Assembly adopted the OPCAT in December 2002 and since February 2003 the OPCAT has been open for signature. By October 2005 there have been 48 signatures and 13 ratifications. The Protocol requires 20 ratifications to become binding on UN members. The OPCAT is a powerful international human rights instrument as it provides for national and international visiting mechanisms to all places where people are detained. This includes prisons, police cells, immigration centres, and psychiatric hospitals, amongst others. Regular visits to such facilities have been proven as an effective measure against torture and the ill treatment of people deprived of their liberty. This paper investigate the implication for South Africa should it sign and ratify the OPCAT.

Policy Developments in South African Correctional Services 1994 - 2002 (Research Paper no. 1)
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 11, 2003

The period 1994 to 2002 in South African Correctional Services history is reviewed in this paper and was prompted by the apparent confusion characterizing correctional policy during this period. During this period substantial policy changes were adopted, such as the privatization of prisons, but with limited debate and oversight. The paper records for historical purposes important trends and mistakes made during this period, but also serve as a clear reminder of the importance of transparent knowledge-based policy development.

Prisoners' Rights Litigation in South Africa Since 1994, a Critical Evaluation (Research Paper No. 3)
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 11, 2003

Prisoner's rights litigators face serious challenges when they take on the Department of Correctional Services. There is a lack of respect for the Rule of Law within prison services, which means existing rules are disobeyed, court orders ignored and corruption and misconduct condoned or covered up; representatives of prison services often fear taking responsibility and therefore often fail to act, passing on cases to court in an attempt to "pass the buck"; the leadership in the Department often does not know what is going on in individual prisons; the public and the newspapers have little sympathy for prisoners and there is little publicity for the plight of prisoners and consequently representatives in the prison service feel that they can get away with actions that would otherwise not be tolerated; and conditions of overcrowding in the prisons are often caused by problems in the criminal justice system and must be addressed if one wants to improve the conditions under which prisoners are kept. This means that at present litigation against the Department of Correctional Services seldom brings lasting changes in the conditions of prisoners and/or in the way prison officials and the political leadership in the Department operate. Despite these problems, prisoners' rights litigation could be a powerful weapon deployed to address the lack of respect for the Rule of Law, which lies at the heart of the problems faced by the Department. Other non-legal strategies could be used alongside litigation strategies to place ever more pressure on relevant officials and the political leadership in the Department. Such pressure would then force the prison leadership to act because inaction would become impossible.

Review of the Judicial Inspectorate of Prisons of SA
Author: calitz
Published: May 13, 2004

This report provides a detailed analysis of the legal mandate and powers of JICS. A number of recommendations are made to enhance its independence, efficiency and effectiveness.

Report on the evaluation of the Independent Prison Visitors System
Author: calitz
Published: May 13, 2004

The report provides a detailed analysis and evaluation of the Independent Prison Visitors (IPV) system of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS). Recommendations focus on the appointment process of IPVs; the performance management system for IPVs; the quality of feed-back given to prisoners; the training of IPVs; Interaction between IPVs and DCS officials; additional IPVs or the allocation of more time; Interaction with prisoners and work outside mandated duties, and political oversight.

Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services Report: Solutions & Recommendations to Prison Overcrowding
Author: calitz
Published: Sep 07, 2004

The problem of overcrowding within the South African prison system has been identified as a key challenge, which negatively affects the ability of the Department of Correctional Service (DCS) to rehabilitate offenders. The first objective of the report is to describe the main causes and consequences of overcrowding. Secondly, is to highlight some of the current initiatives to address the problem of overcrowding in prisons. Lastly, the report seeks to identify specific recommendations by the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services to alleviate prison overcrowding.

Alternative Sentencing Review (Research Paper No 6)
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 11, 2004

Whilst the South African legislation makes ample provision for non-custodial sentencing options, practice reveals that these sentencing options are severely under utilized. Research in a number of jurisdictions reveals a system beset by practical problems, lack of knowledge, infrastructure problems, and attitudinal obstacles. Practical recommendations are provided on promoting non-custodial sentencing options as a result of the research.

Report of the Evaluation of the Independent Prison Visitors (IPV) System (Research Paper No. 5)
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 11, 2004

In 1999 the relevant sections of the Correctional Services Act was promulgated to provide for the establishment of the Judicial Inspectorate of Prisons. The Independent Prisons Visitor, as provided for in the Act, is the main mechanism of the Judicial Inspectorate to hear and address the complaints of prisoners. With hundreds of Independents Prison Visitors appointed by 2003, this paper reviews the effectiveness of the system to address the complaints of prisoners.

A study of best practice in prison governance (Research Paper No. 9)
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 11, 2005

Despite the fact that the Department of Correctional Services has attracted significant media attention as a result of the Jali Commission's investigations, this paper focuses on examples of good governance. The purpose is to demonstrate that despite adverse conditions, individual managers are able to delivery effectively on the department's mandate. The intention is that such examples should be sued for internal learning and replication purposes.

Offender rehabilitation and reintegration: taking the White Paper on Corrections forward (Research Paper No. 10)
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 11, 2005

This research paper focuses on offender reintegration and based on international and domestic research, interrogates the notion of offender reintegration. In an effort to support the further realization of the White Paper it formulates principles, based on extensive international meta-analysis supported by local research, on what works and what does not work in offender reintegration. It argues for an approach to offender reintegration that is based on knowledge and rigorous in design and, implementation and evaluation.

The Treatment of Children in South African Prisons - A Report on the Applicable Domestic and International Minimum Standards (Research Paper No. 11)
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 11, 2005

The purpose of this report is to describe the compliance requirements in terms of domestic and international law for the Department of Correctional Services as it pertains to the treatment of children in prison. International law is replete with normative standards applying to the treatment of children in prison. As this research paper focuses on children in prison, the emphasis is placed on the relevant provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Rules on Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty, as well as some of the provisions of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. Further, the Correctional Services Act of 1998 is an important legal framework in the administration of prisons and the treatment of all prisoners, including children. The White Paper on Corrections, released in March 2005 by the Department of Correctional Services, constitutes a comprehensive blueprint augmenting the legal framework in the Act. The report also pays attention to the situation at ground level and identifies particular problem areas. This paper makes a number of observations in relation to the need to upgrade some areas of these domestic laws and policies to ensure compliance with the international law framework. Examples of practical compliance and non-compliance are also highlighted, calling for the need to go beyond progressive laws and policies.

Corruption in the prisons context
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2006

The point of departure of this paper is that corruption is a human rights issue, which is accentuated in the prison context given the nature of imprisonment. Three factors create an intrinsic risk for corruption in prisons. Firstly, the all-encompassing nature of imprisonment regulates every aspect of prisoners' daily lives: from having the most basic necessities to having access to luxury items, or even illegal items and activities. Secondly, the state as the controller, establishes a highly unequal power relationship between the prison bureaucracy (represented by the warder) and the prison population. Thirdly, the closed nature of prisons and their general marginalisation from the public eye and political discourse do not assist in making prisons more transparent. Against this backdrop, poor management, weak leadership or organised crime can have a devastating impact on the overall operation of a prison system and, ultimately, on the human rights of prisoners. The paper seeks to clarify key concepts relating to prison corruption. By means of defined relationships, for example between individual warders and individual prisoners, or prisoners and warders as collectives, the nature of prison corruption is described. It concludes that there are fundamental differences between prison corruption and corruption found in others sectors of the public service. The research was done prior to the release of the Jali Commission Report Executive Summary and relied on publicly available documents.

Investigating prison corruption
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2006

Who investigates corruption, what is investigated and who makes these decisions are important considerations in the fight against corruption. Investigating corruption is one component of anti-corruption strategies. Investigations can be done in different ways, can be based on different assumptions and be driven by different motivations. These assumptions and motivations are reflected in their respective mandates and terms of reference. Some investigations are fact-finding missions with fairly broad and open mandates, while others may be very specific with the intention of bringing about prosecutions and recovering state assets.

The Effect of Sentencing on the Size of the South African Prison Population
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2006

This report was commissioned by the Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF) and recently presented at a conference on sentencing held in Cape Town. South Africa has a serious prison overcrowding problem. The total number of prisoners has grown steadily and dramatically over the last 11 years. The cause of the increase has changed during this time. Between 1995 and 2000, the major driver of the prison population rise was a massive increase in the size of the unsentenced prisoner population. After 2000, the number of unsentenced prisoners stabilised, and then began to decrease. But the prisoner population continued to grow, now as a result of an increase in the number of sentenced prisoners. This growth continues, despite the fact that the number of offenders admitted to serve custodial sentences is decreasing. The bulk of this increase consists of prisoners serving long sentences. Thus, the rate of release of sentenced prisoners is slowing down.

Prisons in a Democratic South Africa - a Guide to the Rights of Prisoners as Described in the Correctional Services Act and Regulations
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 11, 2006

The Correctional Services Act (CSA) was promulgated in 2004 creating a human rights based framework for South Africa's prison system. In a sense the prison system was delayed in its transformation compared to other government functions in the justice and protection services cluster. Whilst the CSA was passed by Parliament in 1998 it was only in part promulgated and the final and full promulgation took place in October 2005, nearly seven years later. With a new legislative framework in place, the following questions can then rightly be asked: What does a constitutional democracy mean for prisoners? How are the rights of prisoners described in the new Act? What are the rights of children, women, and Aids patients in prisons? How does overcrowding affect prisoners' rights? The purpose of this resource book is to describe in an accessible and user-friendly format the human rights framework for prisoners in South Africa based on the Constitution, Correctional Services Act and the Regulations accompanying the legislation. Where appropriate, reference is made to other legislation that has a direct bearing on the rights of prisoners. It is not a legal text and it is not aimed at lawyers and persons studying prison law, although they may find it useful as a first introduction to a particular topic.

Submission to the South African Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on the Implementation Plans for the Victim’s Charter
Author: calitz
Published: Jul 01, 2007

This submission to the South African Department of Justice and Constitutional Development deals with the Implementation Plans for the Victim’s Charter with a focus on the status of, and services to victims of torture, particularly in places of detention. It addresses redress for victims of torture and victim participation in parole board hearings.

Jali Commission Report - Summary and Comment
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2007

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of Corruption, Maladministration and Violence in the Department of Correctional Services – The Jali Commission - wrote a comprehensive report that investigated various areas of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS). The Jali Commission established that the DCS had various problems that made it function in a manner that left a lot to be desired. The Jali Commission made various recommendations (114+) in its 1800+ page report. The CSPRI summarised the Jali Commission report and put in a user-friendly language for most of us who do not have time to read and comprehend the whole report and also for ease of reference.

Prisons in South Africa's Constitutional Democracy
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2007

Prisons serve a set of complex, mutually conflicting and hard-to-achieve goals. Prisons must house people in a humane manner but simultaneously appeal to the punitive nature of prisons — order and security must be maintained while providing an effective deterrent, and appease political opinion. It is in this “inherent policy vagueness” that stakeholders (for example, politicians, bureaucrats and civil society) must find a compromise (Boin, James and Lodge, 2005: 7). Can a constitutional democracy, such as South Africa, find an acceptable compromise, and what would “acceptable” mean under the rules of a constitutional democracy? This report investigate these questions and looks at what are the constitutional requirements for prisons as well as the threats and stumbling blocks en route to meeting these.

Submission on South Africa's DCS Budget Vote 2008/09
Author: Gwen
Published: Mar 01, 2008

This submission was made in response to South Africa's Department of Correctional Services tabling of its 2008/09 budget. It addressed the size of the prison population, the seven-day establishment, the PPPs, and the implementation of the White Paper on Corrections.

Submission by CSPRI to the Portfolio Committee on Social Development on the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Bill [B12-2008]
Author: calitz
Published: May 13, 2008

This submission focuses on the prevention and combating of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment within the context of the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Bill [B12- 2008]. The overall objective is to promote the use of two international instruments (UNCAT and OPCAT) and, more specifically, to assist in creating the enabling legislation to give effect to section 12 of the Constitution.

Guide to the UN Convention against Torture in South Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 01, 2008

"This publication aims to provide guidance on how the UN Convention against Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) can be used as a resource in South Africa to eradicate torture and ill-treatment...This prohibition of torture imposes on states obligations which are owed to all other members of the international community; each of these obligations has a correlative right. It signals to all states and to the people under their authority that 'the prohibition of torture is an absolute value from which nobody must deviate.' At the national level it de-legitimates any law, administrative or judicial act authorising torture."

Parliamentary Submission on the Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill (2008)
Author: Gwen
Published: Aug 31, 2008

This submission discusses the South African Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill 42 of 2008, which aimed at allowing audio-visual link-up with the courts and at addressing the expungement of criminal records. The Criminal Procedure Amendment Act was adopted in 2008 (Act 65 of 2008).

UNODC and UNAIDS: Women and HIV in Prison Settings
Author: calitz
Published: Sep 01, 2008

Women prisoners present specific challenges for correctional authorities despite, or perhaps because of the fact that they constitute a very small proportion of the prison population. This document discusses matters affecting women in prison settings and why women are at risk of HIV in prisons.

An Assessment of the Impact of HIV/AIDS on Correctional System governance with Special Emphasis on Correctional Services Staff
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2008

The incidence of HIV/AIDS infection in South African prisons has been extensively documented in recent years. This research has focused variously on the geographic and demographic spread of the disease and on the rights of inmates to prophylactics and to appropriate treatment and care. In contrast, little research has been directed towards the incidence and impact of the pandemic amongst correctional officials. From this research it is evident that whilst the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has developed a fairly coherent (albeit unevenly implemented) programme for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS amongst inmates, and notwithstanding the recent launch of a “Framework for the Implementation of a Comprehensive HIV and AIDS Programme” it has yet to develop and implement systematic measures to manage the disease amongst its own staff.

The Changing Face of Life Imprisonment in South Africa.pdf
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2008

This article investigates the meaning and use of life imprisonment in South Africa in four major legal historical eras: life imprisonment at the time when the death penalty was still lawful in South Africa (including life imprisonment as early as 1906); life imprisonment in the immediate aftermath of the abolition of the death penalty (1994-1998); life imprisonment following the introduction of the minimum sentences legislation (1998-2007); and life imprisonment after December 2007, when the sentencing jurisdiction of the regional courts was extended to include life imprisonment.

Prisoner Re-Entry in Cape Town – An Exploratory Study
Author: calitz
Published: Nov 07, 2008

Every month in South Africa approximately 6000 sentenced prisoners are released, some on parole and some on expiry of sentence. After serving their prison sentences it is society’s expectation that they will refrain from committing crime and be productive citizens. They are expected to find employment, rebuild relationships with their families and communities, and cease from engaging in certain activities and avoiding the risks that caused their imprisonment in the first instance. Unfortunately, it is the case that many released prisoners commit further offences and find their way back to prison, some in a remarkably short period of time while others return after several years. This study is concerned with the immediate post-release period and asked a very simple question: “What happens to people immediately after they have been released from prison?” The question is aimed at gaining a deeper and empirical understanding of what prisoner re-entry and reintegration into society mean and what the obstacles are to successful reintegration. When people’s lives have effectively been put on hold for several months or years, how do they pick up the strings where they had left them, if there are indeed strings to pick up?

CSPRI Submission to the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services on the Correctional Services Budget Vote 2009-10 Vote 18.pdf
Author: calitz
Published: Jul 06, 2009

The submission deals with the following: the size of the budget; the size of the prison population; Meeting the minimum standards of humane detention; Performance and operations indicators; Engaging prisoners in programmes and employment; Development of sentence plans; Preparing for release and post-release support; and the handover report.

Parliamentary Submission on the 2008/9 DCS Annual Report
Author: Gwen
Published: Oct 12, 2009

This submission to the South African parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on the 2008/9 Department of Correctional Services Annual Report addresses the issues of safe custody, challenges faced by the pre-trial detention population, staff management and social reintegration.

A Societal Responsibility: The role of civil society organisations in prisoner support, rehabilitation and reintegration
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2009

There is a growing number of civil society organisations in South Africa working with offenders and prisoners focusing on prisoner support, rehabilitation and reintegration, reflecting in many ways the ‘societal responsibility’ that the White Paper on Corrections advocates for. These organisations provide services broadly aimed at promoting offender reintegration and reducing the chances of re-offending.

Ex-prisoners' Views on Imprisonment and Re-Entry
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2009

In the past 15 years much research has been conducted on the prison system in South Africa focusing on governance, law reform and human rights. It is, however, of particular concern that the voices of prisoners and ex-prisoners had not been heard in the current discourse, one that has been dominated by the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), Parliament, service delivery organisations, academics and human rights activists. In essence, there has been a lot of talk about prisoners and ex-prisoners but there has been little listening to prisoners and ex-prisoners taking place.

Reducing Prison Violence: Implications from the literature for South Africa
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2009

Few would argue that prisons are violent places and South Africa is no exception. The consistently high number of deaths and complaints of assaults recorded by both the DCS and the JICS over several years indicate that violence is a “normal” feature of the South African prison system. Amongst all the strategic objectives towards transformation of the prison system and the distractions, the most important objective of any correctional system is to detain prisoners under safe and humane conditions. This, very explicitly, means that individuals, when imprisoned, must not only be safe but they must also feel safe. Regrettably this is not the case and thus the need for this paper to take a closer look at violence in South Africa’s prison system. This is done by reviewing the literature on prison violence to gain a deeper understanding of the problem and also to establish whether there have been any effective measures implemented elsewhere to reduce prison violence. Based on these a number of recommendations are made to improve prison safety in South Africa.

Roundtable discussion on oversight over the prison system
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2009

This roundtable discussion, hosted by CSPRI, is the first in a series of three, and included representatives from Parliament, the Judicial Inspectorate for Prisons, SAHRC, media and civil society organisations. The discussions focused on the different oversight mandates, successes achieved in exercising oversight as well as the problems faced. Strategic priorities in prison oversight were identified by the participants.

Roundtable Discussion on the 2008/9 Annual Report of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 07, 2009

The second, in a series of three roundtable discussion, focused on the 2008/9 Annual Report of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services. Since its establishment in 1998 the Inspectorate has made a valuable contribution to promoting and protecting prisoners’ rights and South Africa. The Inspectorate has the mandate to inspect prisons in order that the Inspecting Judge may report on the treatment of prisoners and conditions in prisons. After nearly a decade in existence, it is necessary to examine how the Inspectorate has fulfilled its mandate and how oversight over the prison can be improved in cooperation with other stakeholders, such as civil society, Parliament and the academic community. The discussion focused on the state of correctional centre and the prevention of human rights violations.

Roundtable Discussion on the White Paper on Corrections in South Africa
Author: hannes
Published: Dec 09, 2009

In March 2005 the Department of Correctional Services released the White Paper on Corrections in South Africa which articulated a new 20-year vision for the correctional system. This vision articulates an antithesis of what was inherited from the previous regime. But it does raise serious questions about its attainability. Nearly five years into the implementation of the White Paper, results in respect of rehabilitation services to prisoners remain modest. The lack of budgetary alignment to the vision of the White Paper has also been remarked upon by Parliament. In many regards, conditions of detention fail to meet the minimum standards set out in the Constitution and the Correctional Services Act. This roundtable discussion focussed on a critical examination of the White Paper as a policy document and also on progress towards realising the objectives of the White Paper. Some may argue that the White Paper has made a valuable contribution by providing the Department with a new purpose and paradigm, whilst others state that meeting the minimum standards of humane detention is a pre-requisite for large scale rehabilitation services. Did the ambitious vision of the White Paper set the Department up for failure?

Parliamentary submission on the Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill (2010)
Author: Gwen
Published: Aug 11, 2010

This submission to the South African Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on theCriminal Procedure Amendment Bill (Bill 39 of 2010) discusses the amendments to section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act (use of deadly force by police) and its deviation from the Constitutional Court case Ex parte Minister of Safety and Security: In re S v Walters. The Bill was adopted in 21012 (Act 9 of 2012).

McCallum v South Africa, UN Doc CCPR/C/100/D/1818/2008 (2 November 2010)
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 02, 2010

The Human Rights Committee has found that South Africa violated a prisoner’s rights not to be tortured or treated in a cruel, inhuman or degrading manner and to be treated with humanity and respected when deprived of liberty. South Africa was also found to have violated its obligation to investigate and remedy the violation of those rights.

Policy on the Prevention of Torture and the Treatment of Persons in Custody of the South African Police Service
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 02, 2010

This policy document seeks to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of persons in custody of the South African Police Service (SAPS). It contains instructions which will eventually be incorporated into SAPS National Orders. The commentary provided does not form part of the instructions, but is intended to give guidance to members.

Submission by CSPRI to the Portfolio Committee on Police on the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Bill [B15 of 2010] and the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Bill - B16 of 2010.PDF
Author: calitz
Published: Apr 13, 2011

The submission deals with two bills, being the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Bill and the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Bill. The first places the emphasis on the absolute prohibition of torture and argues for the inclusion of the crime of torture into the bill and strengthening the investigative powers of the proposed Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) as well as its independence. In respect of the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Bill attention is paid to establishing a detention visiting mechanism to enhance transparency in line with OPCAT.

Tuberculosis in a South African prison – a transmission modelling analysis
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 01, 2011

Simon Johnstone-Robertson, Stephen D Lawn, Alex Welte, Linda-Gail Bekker, Robin Wood. From South African Medical Journal 2011;101:809-813. Prisons are recognised internationally as institutions with very high tuberculosis (TB) burdens where transmission is predominantly determined by contact between infectious and susceptible prisoners. A recent South African court case described the conditions under which prisoners awaiting trial were kept. With the use of these data, a mathematical model was developed to explore the interactions between incarceration conditions and TB control measures

Survey of Detention Oversight Mechanisms Provided for in the Laws of SADC Countries.pdf
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 04, 2011

Given the slow rate at which SADC countries have signed and ratified OPCAT, this paper explores existing statutory detention oversight mechanisms in the domestic laws of SADC countries with a particular emphasis on prisons. The notion of individuals or institutions visiting places of detention to inspect conditions of detention and treatment of detained persons is not new and is found even in the antiquated laws of several countries reviewed here.

Remand detention in South Africa: An overview of the current law and proposals for reform
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 05, 2011

This research report provides an overview of the necessary research to develop possible solutions for limiting the amount of time remand detainees spend in custody. The report discusses, firstly, the bail provisions in the Criminal Procedure Act with regard to the right to liberty and in the broader constitutional notion of proportionality. Second, case law from regional and international bodies dealing with pre-trial release is explored, and third, detention time limits and automatic bail review proceedings are discussed. Fourth, the conceptual distinction between fair trial rights and liberty interests and the South African courts’ treatment of “undue delay” cases is described. The report concludes with the recommendation that a constitutional challenge, based on the Criminal Procedure Act’s failure to adequately protect the accused’s right to liberty, be brought on behalf of South Africa’s remand detainees. Such a challenge would be based on the right to liberty and argue that without custody time limits and a regular, automatic review of bail decisions, the law in relation to bail, as it currently stands, is unconstitutional.

The law and the business of criminal record expungement in South Africa
Author: hannes
Published: Nov 06, 2011

This report reviews the use and expungement of criminal records in South Africa and was prompted by a recent amendment to the Criminal Procedure Act which created, for the first time, a mechanism for certain criminal convictions to be expunged. The situation of criminal records and their expungement is, however, not a simple one and the creation of additional registers (Sex Offender Register, Child Protection Register and Diversion Register) have added another dimension to the issue. The overall impression from the legal framework is that different pieces of legislation use different yardsticks in respect of expungements. It is furthermore a general conclusion that the scope of the mechanism created in the Criminal Procedure is extremely narrow and that very few former offenders would in fact benefit from it. The creation of this mechanism also saw the private sector creating a profit opportunity with some companies charging amounts as high as R7 500 for handling the expungement application, a procedure that should cost no more than R100. The report concludes by recommending that the retention and expungement of criminal records should be selective, purposeful and based on knowledge.

Links
Author: calitz
Published: Nov 11, 2011
Shortage of translators at Johannesburg Magistrates' Courts
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 12, 2012

More than half of the cases heard on a daily basis in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court and its ten satellite courts demand foreign language translators, and there are not enough of them to meet demand, reports Beeld newspaper.

Submission to the 51st Ordinary Session of the ACHPR
Author: Berber
Published: Apr 18, 2012

On 18 April 2012, the Community Law Centre delivered a submission to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. The submission dealt with three issues, namely compliance with the Robben Island Guidelines, domestic oversight over places of detention and limiting the use of pre-trial detention.

Cape Town man beaten to death in police cells
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 23, 2012

A 48-year-old man arrested for being drunk in public was beaten to death in a Durbanville, Cape Town, police cell in the early hours of Saturday 21 April 2012.

Report on Children in Prison in South Africa
Author: Jean
Published: May 28, 2012

"An important finding is that the policies in respect of the services and activities available to children are varied and inconsistent. Inconsistencies exist in relation to information provided at admission, orientation of new admissions, conditions of detention, the segregation of children from adults, access to education, access to recreation and preparation for release. ... Based on snapshot data, children remain awaiting trial in DCS facilities for an average of 70 days."

Submissions on the Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons Bill [B21 of 2012]
Author: Berber
Published: Aug 01, 2012

CSPRI made the following submissions to Parliament on the Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons Bill. These submissions represent the views of a group of organisations and address, primarily, whether the contents of the Bill comply fully with the obligations imposed on the state in terms of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT). These submissions also include recommendations on what the Bill should include and / or exclude as well as suggestions on how the text could be amended.

Submission on the DCS Annual Report 2011/12
Author: Berber
Published: Oct 08, 2012

This submission deals with human resources, staff training, children in prisons, discipline and turnstiles. Many of the problems facing the Department of Correctional Services are longstanding and the Portfolio Committee is familiar with these. CSPRI expresses concern about the persistence of these problems. For reasons that are not always clear the same issues undermine performance in the Department without a solution in sight. CSPRI makes a number of recommendations as to how to address the concerns noted.

Submission on the JICS Annual Report 2011/12
Author: Berber
Published: Oct 09, 2012

With this submission, CSPRI wishes to draw the Portfolio Committee’s attention to the fact that since its establishment in 2000, the JICS has not been the subject of a review process scrutinising whether it is indeed advancing prisoners’ rights in South Africa. CSPRI submits that continuous and regular review is necessary in order for state institutions to adapt to changing needs and improve efficiency and effectiveness. The submission discusses the independence of JICS and the current investigative regime and encourages JICS to include recommendations, based on national and international law and jurisprudence, whenever it reports concerns.

Submission to the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry
Author: Berber
Published: Oct 17, 2012

CSPRI made a submission to the Commission of Inquiry into allegations of police inefficiency in Khayelitsha and a breakdown in relations between the community and the police in Khayelitsha. Bearing in mind the obligations under the Convention against Torture and its Optional Protocol, the recommendations touch upon meaningful independent oversight, including at the provincial level; improved training of law enforcement officials; prompt and impartial investigations of allegations of torture; and public co-operation.

Draft White Paper on Remand Detention Management in South Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 02, 2012

Following the outcome of an interdepartmental project led by the DCS aimed at re-engineering the way in which awaiting trial detainees are dealt with, the Cabinet Lekgotla decided in January 2009 that the DCS must establish a Branch that will be responsible for the management of awaiting trial detainees.This White Paper deals with the remand detention population as a very distinct entity from the population of sentenced offenders. It recognises the unique challenges associated with persons who are detained although not yet found guilty of any crime. It distinguishes this population from a population focused on rehabilitation and acknowledges the duty to hold such a population for purposes of attending court.

SA Constitutional Court finds government liable for prisoner contracting TB in pre-trial detention
Author: Jean
Published: Dec 11, 2012

Mr Lee, was detained at Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison in pre-trial detention from 1999 to 2004, appearing in court no fewer than 70 times. Mr Lee contracted TB while in prison. The court found there is a legal duty on the responsible authorities to provide adequate health care services as part of the constitutional right of all prisoners to conditions of detention that are consistent with human dignity. The court further found there is a probable chain of causation between the negligent omissions by the responsible authorities and Mr Lee’s infection with TB. The case was remitted to the High Court to determine the amount of damages.

Lee v Minister of Correctional Services CCT 20 /12, 11 December 2012
Author: Jean
Published: Dec 11, 2012

Mr Lee contracted tuberculosis (TB) while in prison. He sued the Minister for damages on the basis that the poor prison health management resulted in his becoming infected. The High Court upheld the claim on the basis that the prison authorities had failed to take reasonable steps to prevent Mr Lee from contracting TB.The majority of the court noted that there is a legal duty on the responsible authorities to provide adequate health care services as part of the constitutional right of all prisoners to conditions of detention that are consistent with human dignity.

African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF)
Author: Jean
Published: Dec 18, 2012

The African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF) is a network of African practitioners active in policing reform and civilian oversight over policing in Africa.

Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC)
Author: Jean
Published: Dec 18, 2012

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) promotes and advances human rights and the rule of law in southern Africa, primarily through strategic litigation support and capacity building.

Man dragged 400m by South African Police vehicle dies in detention
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 11, 2013

The man, a 27-year-old Mozambican taxi driver identified as Mido Macia, in detention of head injuries and internal bleeding, according to an initial post mortem report. The incident was captured on video by bystanders. The video shows the man scuffling with police, who subdue him. He is then bound to the back of the pick-up by his arms before the vehicle drives off in front of scores of witnesses in the east Johannesburg area of Daveyton. Nine policemen have been arrested and charged with murder.

Budget Vote Submission
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 27, 2013

The submission is made in response to the 2013/14 Budget Vote as accompanied by the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) Strategic Plan 2013/14 - 2016/17 and Performance Plan 2013/14 - 2016/17. The submission deals with three broad issues: (1) alignment between the Strategic Plan and the budget, (2) creating safer prisons, and (3) rehabilitation and reintegration. The latter two focal areas are in response to a general request from the Portfolio Committee for submissions on these two issues.

South Africa's white paper on remand detention management finalised
Author: Jean
Published: May 09, 2013

The final draft of the South African government's White Paper on Remand Detention Management has been published on the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) website, bringing the policy framework in line with provisions in Correctional Matters Amendment Act. The White Paper marks the end of a process aimed at closing a policy gap in the 2005 White Paper on Corrections in respect of awaiting-trial detainees.

Press Release on Overcrowding
Author: Jean
Published: May 30, 2013

CSPRI responds to the Minister of Justice’s claim that prison overcrowding is an indication of the NPA “doing a good job”. Statistics provided by CSPRI counters the Minister's claims on the efficacy of the NPA.

Presentation on Remand Detention Trends for the Round Table on Remand Detention
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 06, 2013

This presentation indicates that the state now incarcerates close to 3 remand detainees for every person a judicial officer eventually finds guilty and sentences to a term of imprisonment in a year. The current ratio of 3 to 1 implies that 2 out of 3 remand detainees will never be convicted and sentenced to a term of imprisonment. It further implies that the “correct” remand population should be one third of its current size i.e. around 17,000 people.

South Africa's Torture Act promulgated
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 26, 2013

South Africa's President Zuma signed the Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons Act No. 13 of 2013 into law on 25 July 2013.

Submission to South Africa's Parliament on the DCS 2013/14 Annual Report
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 15, 2014

This submission discusses the 2013/14 Department of Correctional Services (South Africa) Annual Report. More specifically, it discusses human rights violations in prison (including allegations of torture), the mandate of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services, rehabilitation and the review of the White Paper on Corrections, the SIU investigation into corruption in prison, lengthy pre-trial detention and leadership instability.

Evidence obtained through violating the right to freedom from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in South Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 01, 2015

This article was published in AHRLJ Volume 15 No 1 2015. Although South African courts have expressly held that any evidence obtained through torture is always inadmissible, the author is unaware of a decision from a South African court to the effect that evidence obtained through cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment is, like evidence obtained through torture, inadmissible in all circumstances. In this article, the author first deals with the issue of evidence obtained through torture and thereafter relies on the practice of international and regional human rights bodies, such as the Committee against Torture, the Human Rights Committee, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, the European Court of Human Rights and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and some of the sections of the South African Constitution, to argue that South Africa has an international obligation to exclude any evidence obtained through cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. In support of this argument, the author relies on the jurisprudence of the South African Supreme Court of Appeal on the nature of the right to freedom from torture and argues that the same approach could be applied to the right to freedom from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment

Submission to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services
Author: Jean
Published: Aug 18, 2015

This submission deals with South Africa’s performance in relation to, and compliance with, international standards with reference to offender management, offender rehabilitation and independent monitoring, as was requested by the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services (the Portfolio Committee).

Sex worker paralegals
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 01, 2015

Former sex workers affiliated to the Sisonke Sex Worker's Movement have been trained as paralegals by the Women's Legal Centre to provide paralegal advice and assistance to sex workers

Submission to South Africa's Parliament - 2015 strategic planning session
Author: Gwen
Published: Sep 21, 2015

This submission to the South African parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services' strategic planning session addresses the issues of long periods of pre-trial detention, low prosecution rates, the independence of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services, human rights abuses in prison, sentencing reform and effective prison oversight.

Submission to the UN Human Rights Committee: Overview of cross cutting issues in Alternate Reports on South Africa
Author: Jean
Published: Mar 01, 2016

This overview of cross cutting issues emanates from five alternate thematic reports submitted by civil society organisations (the Alternate Reports) in response to the Initial Report by South Africa (the State Report), to be reviewed by the UN Human Rights Committee during its 116th session. The Alternate Reports which provided the basis for this overview are:  Recognition of Civil and Political Rights: A continued struggle for Transgender and Intersex Persons in South Africa  Shadow Report on Participatory Democracy to South Africa’s State Report and their Responses to the List Of Issues On The International Covenant On Civil And Political Rights (ICCPR)  Thematic Report on Criminal Justice and Human Rights in South Africa  Thematic Report on the Rights of Migrants and Asylum Seekers in South Africa  Thematic Report on Violence Against Women and LGBTI Persons in South Africa

ACJR takes JICS delegation on an oversight study tour to London, UK
Author: Gwen
Published: May 12, 2017

From 8 to 12 May 2017, ACJR staff Lukas Muntingh and Gwen Dereymaeker took a delegation of the South African Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) to London, United Kingdom, on a study tour. The objective of the study tour was to engage with UK oversoght institutions to identify successes and challenges in the South African prison oversight structure.

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