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Governance, Justice and Law and Order Sector Reform Programme: Administrative Data Collection and Analysis Report
Author: Jean
Published: May 01, 2007

This review focused on administrative data collection and analysis in support of the following four indicators: (i) percentage increase in crime detection, prosecution and conviction rates of selected crimes (ii) percentage decrease in the awaiting trial population (iii) percentage decrease in the case backlog of selected crimes and (iv) percentage of litigants receiving legal aid, disaggregated by economic status, age and gender.

Ghana Justice Sector and the Rule of Law
Author: Jean
Published: Jan 01, 2007

This discussion paper is by AfriMAP, the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, and the Institute for Democratic Governance.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Rwanda's Troubled Gacaca Courts
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 01, 2006

This article by Christopher Le Mon from Human Rights Brief, a publication of the American University's Washington College of Law, considers the gacaca courts established to try perpetrators of the 1994 genocide and their problems.

Mozambique: Justice Sector and the Rule of Law
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 01, 2006

This Africa Governance Monitoring and Advocacy Project (AfriMAP) report published by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) in 2006 is a comprehensive report on the Mozambican legal system.

Angolan Policing Overview
Author: Jean
Published: Nov 30, 2005

This overview of policing in Angola by Julie Berg of the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cape Town is drawn from an overview of policing oversight in select SADC countries.

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.

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.

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.

Equatorial Guinea: A Trial with Too Many Flaws
Author: Suraj
Published: Jun 01, 2005

"The prison conditions this group of prisoners have endured in pre and post-trial detention are particularly harsh. This is aggravated by the fact that they are foreigners with no family in Equatorial Guinea and no, or limited, knowledge of the Spanish language. Furthermore, they seem to have been subjected to treatment which is considerably harsher than that of their codefendants. - The Equatorial Guinean authorities must immediately end the incommunicado detention of all prisoners currently being held incommunicado in Equatorial Guinea; - improve the conditions of imprisonment under which all prisoners are held, including by providing them with an adequate diet and prompt and adequate medical treatment as needed; - allow the prisoners visits by their lawyers and, in the case of the foreign nationals, by consular representatives from their countries, in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations; - make all efforts to facilitate family visits whenever the families request them; - encourage frequent visits to the prison by the ICRC."

Community Service in Uganda as an Alternative to Imprisonment: A Case Study of Masaka and Mukono Districts
Author: Jean
Published: May 01, 2005

by Charles Birungi Mini-Thesis Presented to the Institute for Social Development, Faculty of Arts, University of the Western Cape, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the MA Degree in Development Studies p66: "... community service sentencing procedures are lengthier and involve much more paper work than the normal court proceedings...This lengthy process leads to an increase in the number of the prison population on remand ..."

Tanzania: the death sentence institutionalised?
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 01, 2005

This report, by the Legal Human Rights Centre (Tanzania) and the International Federation for Human Rights, on the death sentence in Tanzania contains some information in Chapter V about the duration of pre-trial detention and the conditions of pre-trial detention in Tanzania.

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.

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.

State Violence in Benin
Author: Jean
Published: Oct 11, 2004

Alternative report to the Committee on Human Rights. Association des Femmes Juristes du Bénin, Enfants Solidaires d'Afrique et du Monde, Human Rights Task Group, & Organisation Mondiale contre la torture.

State Violence in Morocco: Alternative Report to the United Nations Committee on Torture
Author: Jean
Published: Apr 01, 2004

This report on state violence and torture in the Kingdom of Morocco was presented at the 31st session of the Committee against Torture, which took place in Geneva from 10-21 November 2003 and during which the Moroccan Government’s report was examined. This report was jointly prepared by three Moroccan human rights NGOs: • The Democratic Association of Moroccan Women (ADFM), • The Bayti Association, • The Moroccan Prison Observatory (OMP).

Access to Justice for the Poor of Malawi? An appraisal of the access to justice provided to the poor of Malawi by the lower subordinate courts and the customary justice forums
Author: Jean
Published: Feb 23, 2004

This report by Wilfried Schärf, Chikosa Banda, Ricky Röntsch, Desmond Kaunda, and Rosemary Shapiro sought to inform Malawi Law Commission deliberations. "In rural areas the study found that customary justice forums handle some of the criminal cases as well as the vast majority of civil disputes occurring throughout the country. Proceedings are guided by locally-based customary rules. This despite the fact that since 1995 chiefs and traditional authorities have been stripped of their formal adjudicative powers by their exclusion from any formal judicial duties."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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