Presentation on theme: "1 DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES - PRESENTATION TO THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS."— Presentation transcript:
1 DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES - PRESENTATION TO THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS
2 PURPOSE THE PURPOSE OF THIS PRESENTATION IS TO BRIEF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS ON: COMPLAINT LETTERS FROM PRISONERS; ACTIVITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT FOR 2001; AND OVERCROWDING
4 OVERVIEW ON 31 DECEMBER 2000, THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES MANAGED 238 PRISONS IN 9 PROVINCES.THESE PRISONS ARE MADE UP AS FOLLOWS: ã 8 FOR FEMALE OFFENDERS ã 13FOR YOUTH CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES ã 113FOR MALE OFFENDERS ã 99FOR MALE AND FEMALE OFFENDERS ã 5PRISONS TEMPORARILY CLOSED FOR REPAIRS AND RENOVATIONS SOUTH AFRICAN PRISONS HAS DESIGNED ACCOMMODATION CAPACITY FOR 101 991 PRISONERS WITH A CURRENT POPULATION OF 163 546 PRISONERS. THIS SITUATION CONSTITUTES AN AVERAGE OVERPOPULATION RATE OF 60.35 % AND A TOTAL ACCOMMODATION CAPACITY NEED FOR 61 555 PRISONERS.
5 CAPACITY vs. PRISONER POPULATION: January 1995 to December 2000
6 OVERVIEW (Continues) The distribution of the prisoners population,as on 31 December 2000, per province
7 TRENDS Since January 1995 to December 2000 the prison accommodation capacity and prisoner population figures increased as follows: Jan-1995 Dec-2000 Growth% Growth Unsentenced 24 265 55 558 31 293 128.96 % Sentenced 92 581 107 988 15 407 16.64 % Total116 846 163 546 46 700 36.97 % Capacity 95 865 101 991 6 126 6.39 % % Overcrowd-21.89 % 60.35 % ing From the above-mentioned figures it is clear that the provision of prison accommodation could not keep track with the growth in the offender population (mainly due to financial constraints) whilst Department is faced with an alarming increase in the awaiting trial prisoners.
8 UNSENTENCED VS. SENTENCED PRISONERS IN CUSTODY
9 GROWTH TRENDS 31 293 (67 %) of the increase of 46 700 in the total prisoner population occurred in unsentenced / awaiting trial prisoners while sentenced prisoners increased with only 15 407 (33 %). The increasing number of awaiting trial prisoners can therefore be considered to be the main contributing factor to overcrowding. During January 1995 only 21 % of the total prisoner population were awaiting trial prisoners compared to the 34 % in December 2000
10 EFFECTS OF OVERCROWDING The Department acknowledges the fact that the overcrowded prisons have an adverse effect on prisoners, on staff and the safe custody of prisoners. Causes tension, hostility and aggression (On prisoners and officials). Not consistent with humane incarceration. Not conducive to efficient application of rehabilitation programmes. Restrict effective supervision and control. Create unsafe working environment. Undermines security and safe custody. Affects staff moral and efficiency negatively. Increase on maintenance cost of prison buildings
11 MEASURES TO ADDRESS OVERCROWDING To address the challenges presented by overcrowding the Department is involved in a number of inter departmental projects developed within the Crime Prevention, Justice and Safety Cluster, namely: Awaiting Trial Prisoners Projects Court Process Project Inmate Tracking Saturday Courts The Department held the first National Symposium on Correctional Services on 1 and August 2000 inter alia to create awareness of overcrowding in prisons and the effects thereof.
12 MEASURES TO ADDRESS OVERCROWDING (Continues) Interventions and actions taken to reduce the prisoner population: Optimal utilization of Community Corrections as a sentencing / diversion option Conversion of sentences into Correctional Supervision Assisting prisoners to obtain money to pay their fines Ensuring that support systems are in place for all prisoners who are to be released on parole or correctional; supervision Speedy placement of prisoners with fines on Correctional Supervision
13 MEASURES TO ADDRESS OVERCROWDING (Continues) Ensuring that prisoners who qualify for parole are placed out as soon as possible Redressing of penalising factors when parole is considered Increased focus on rehabilitation programmes for prisoners to prevent re-offending Focus on training-, education- and social development programmes Release of 8 262 awaiting trial prisoners accused of less serious offences that were granted bail of R 1 000 or less. Early placement of 8 678 sentenced prisoners through the advancement of their approved parole dates.
14 MEASURES TO ADDRESS OVERCROWDING (Continues) Expanding accommodation capacity through the Capital Works/Repair and Maintenance Programme Completion of current projects - Kokstad Closed Maximum - 1 440 prisoners - Devon Pre-release Centre - 600 prisoners New prisons with capacity for 6 000 beds in 2003/4 and 6 000 beds in 2004/5 Repair and maintenance programmes for prisoners Opening of APOPS Prisons in 2001/2 - Bloemfontein - 2 928 prisoners - Louis Trichardt - 3 024 prisoners
15 RESULTS OF MEASURES TO ADDRESS OVERCROWDING) Since April 2000 the prisoner population decreased from 172 272 prisoners to 163 546 prisoners on 31 December 2000 ( 5.07 % decrease). Accommodation capacity increased from 100 384 to 101 991 (1.6 % increase) over the same period.
16 CONCLUSION The release of the awaiting trial and sentenced prisoners culminated in a reduction of the total number of prisoners as indicated. Should these actions not have been taken it is estimated that the prison population would have been in access of 180 000 instead of the current 163 546