The Committee was told by the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) that overcrowding posed a serious threat in correctional facilities, where the most common concerns were the safety of inmates and officials, insufficient bed spaces, corruption within correctional facilities, and the prevalence of escapes.
Overcrowding negatively impacted the imperatives of the DCS mandate, and the Department had had to implement several strategies to address and mitigate the challenges of overcrowding and security. There were projects and programmes underway to improve the infrastructure of correctional facilities, which included additional bed spaces, rehabilitative programmes, and interventions to improve security, including innovative technological initiatives such as body scanners that were much more efficient and effective when searching inmates, officials and visitors.
Several Members raised concern about the implications of the Department’s budget cuts, the delays in building projects and the corruption of officials, and wanted to know how the DCS would deal with such matters. They also showed interest in the rehabilitation of offenders, especially their reintegration into society following parole or conversion of their sentences to community correctional supervision. It had been established that the community and families played a significant role in this process by welcoming the offenders back into society, and the Department should partner with community structures to educate the public about the support available, and ensure successful reintegration and rehabilitation.
The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) reported on its research to assess the health and wellness of women in prison. Overcrowding also remained a central issue, especially with its implications for the spread of infectious diseases. There were not enough specialists and resources to detect and treat illnesses, especially mental health problems which were more common among women. Although there were progressive programmes aimed at addressing women’s needs in prison, their implementation would remain stagnant if overcrowding prevailed. During the previous presentation by the DCS, there had been no mention of women’s needs in prison -- perhaps this was because female prisoners made up a minority in comparison to the mass of male prisoners.
Committee Members expressed disappointment that all but one of the representatives from the DCS had not stayed to listen to the presentation by the Commission for Gender Equality. It was agreed that in subsequent meetings better planning should be done to ensure joint presentations so that the issues could be addressed in collaboration.
Deputy Minister’s opening remarks
Mr Nkosi Patekile Holomisa, Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services (DCS), said the DCS was there to address the perennial problems of overcrowding and the related security issues. There had been a number of security challenges, including violent attacks on inmates and officials in correctional facilities, where the National Task Team (NTT) had been deployed to reduce the risk. The team had progressively reduced the security risk through regular patrols, security searches, gang profiling and more recently the application of progressive transfers of identified gangsters to other facilities.
A recent incident had occurred on 1 September during breakfast at the St Albans Correctional Centre in the Eastern Cape, Medium B section, where an inmate had stabbed an official in the neck and charged other officials with a sharp self-made knife. Brutal force had been applied, and during the scuffle the inmate who had been sentenced in 2013 to 20 years and six months for murder, had been fatally injured. The matter had been reported to DCS and the South African Police Service (SAPS). Thereafter, searches had been conducted where a number of sharpened objects, cell phones and drugs were confiscated. An internal investigation was being conducted following the incident and Emergency Support Teams (ESTs) had been activated to provide stability and order within the Medium B correctional centre. Solutions were being implemented to address the challenges that had given rise to the challenges at St Albans and within the DCS.
To mitigate the current challenges at St Albans Correctional Centre was a stabilisation plan outlining the intervention measures, with clear timelines and responsibilities. This involved the deployment of the NTT, the assistance of highly trained officers in security operations, ESTs, increasing the official to offender ratio, improving offender management, and increasing searches on offenders, the officials and members of the public. Security of management and access control needed to be improved, and there had to be management of those officials who had been found guilty of contravening the laws of the country and policy.
Fraud and corruption had potentially negative implications for the Department’s assets and a negative impact on service delivery. The DCS had an anti-corruption strategy and mandate that involved the prevention, investigation and sanctions following corruption and fraud. Preventative measures such as anti-corruption workshops were in place to sensitise officials on matters of corruption. There had been several dismissals, suspensions and resignations of officials following charges of corruption.
Various integrated security systems projects had been scheduled for the next few financial years and procurement strategies had been identified for the appointment of multiple service providers. The electronic monitoring pilot project had been suspended in 2017, due to a pending investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), so the Department was in the process of exploring alternative methods for implementing electronic monitoring.
It needed to raise awareness among the public about the contribution of the officials and the challenges that they faced. All correctional officers had to be trained on security in order to defend themselves. Overcrowding in correctional centres posed serious threats to the correctional system. The DCS needed to assert itself more aggressively within the Justice and Crime Prevention Security (JCPS) cluster to ensure that the JPCS discusses matters related to the mitigation of the challenges faced by the DCS and focuses on matters such as a review of the criminal justice system, overpopulation of detainees, and community corrective actions that must involve many sectors of society. The Department should make sure that all inmates were subjected to compulsory work programmes for the sake of their own personal development as they were reintegrated back into society.
Mr Arthur Fraser, National Commissioner of Correctional Services, briefly mentioned that the presentation would address a background on each of the agenda topics, and how the DCS was actively addressing those issues.
Overcrowding & security in correctional services’ facilities
Mr Joseph Katenga, Chief Deputy Commissioner: Strategic Management, DCS, said the Department regarded overcrowding as its most important challenge, undermining all the efforts and internationally benchmarked strategies adopted by the DCS to reduce the inmate population.
Some of the main systematic and structural challenges managed internally and through the Cluster at different levels were:
- Successes of the SAPS to combat crime and convictions by the judiciary were contributing to the overcrowding, and the transfer of offenders for even distribution purposes had recently been challenged through court action by offenders;
- Lack of alignment of policies between SAPS, the courts and the DCS to manage access to relevant documents, such as SAP62 (description of current offense) and SAP69C (record of previous convictions), and the sentence remarks/ court transcripts to facilitate consideration of different categories of offenders for placement on parole. This resulted in delays in the preparation of offenders’ profiles and consideration for placement on parole;
- The majority of remand detainees (RDs) did not have the option to pay bail, which excluded any possibility of interventions focusing on a diversion from correctional centres;
- The continuous inflow in the number of sentenced offenders;
- Offenders serving longer sentences, resulting in a slower turnover rate and negatively impacting on infrastructure and resources;
- Punitive criminal justice policies and the overuse of incarceration;
- Inadequate provision for non-custodial measures and sanctions;
- Inappropriate facilities, which were not designed for rehabilitation;
- Inability to effectively accommodate offenders according to their security classification, and to separate different categories of offenders;
- Stigmatisation of parolees and probationers by communities.
Mr Katenga said the increase in officials’ caseloads compromised efficiency and the effectiveness of physically monitoring parolees, probationers and persons awaiting trial
The current status of overcrowding was that since 2000/01, the number of available bed spaces has increased by 15%, from 100 707, to 118 572 in 2018/19. However, the average inmate population of had decreased by 2.94% during this period, from 166 587 to 161 818.
Overcrowding had an impact on the security of both inmates and officials. From the inmates’ perspective, bullying and gang culture were worsened by scarce resources, such as who gets to shower first (hot water shortages) and who sleeps where (mattresses on the floor or bed?). Separation of ‘first time offenders’ from ‘hardened criminals’ was not always possible. On the other hand, offender:staff ratios led to officials being vulnerable to mass attacks and intimidation; overcrowded cells could not be effectively monitored (visually) and activities were easily obscured; there was increased risk of security incidents such as assaults, hostage taking and smuggling; and security incidents such as the burning of cells resulted in more casualties from smoke inhalation
Mr Katenga described the governance structures for the management of overcrowding. He said that despite all the shortcomings, including the inherited infrastructure challenges, the Department continued to implement the multi-pronged strategy to manage overcrowding through its internal governance structures -- the National Overcrowding Task Team (NOTT), Regional Overcrowding Task Teams (ROTTs) and Management Area Overcrowding Task Teams (MOTTs).
It continued to collaborate and actively participate in cluster forums, such as the Provincial Efficiency Enhancement Committees (PEECs), National Efficiency Enhancement Committees (NEEC), and the Intersectoral Committee for Child Justice and Criminal Review.
The reality of South Africa’s correctional system was that the population of inmates exceeded the accommodation capacity. This overcrowding negatively impacted on the human incarceration, rehabilitative and human rights imperatives of the mandate.
Current challenges were that of the 243 correctional facilities, only 12 were new generation facilities that were geared toward optimal rehabilitation, observation of human rights and social reintegration. The majority of the facilities were prison-designed to warehouse inmates without consideration for all the other aspects of the corrections mandate. The Department had historically part-procured security solutions which had not been fully implemented and / or consistently maintained, resulting in diminished ability to prevent the smuggling of illegal and contraband material such as drugs, metals (cellular phones, sim-cards, blades, etc). In addition, the training of personnel was currently not emphasising the different dimensions of security (six pillars), there was the use of security personnel cross functionally, and also security incidences of assaults, escapes, unnatural deaths and gang activity.
Interventions to improve security included:
- Re-organisation of the security function to address uncoordinated security responses;
- Development of a security philosophy and strategies to inform an improved DCS security posture, to ensure all other aspects of the mandate were effectively delivered;
- A review of the gang management strategy;
- Development of stabilisation plans for hotspot management areas/ facilities;
- Development of a counter-organised crime strategy;
- An improved interface with law enforcement agencies;
- Development of an infrastructure master plan;
- Clear separation of duties between corrections (rehabilitation focused) and security at a functional / deployment level; and
- Deployment of integrated security systems.
Technology initiatives involved the implementation of an Integrated Security System (ISS) which consists of electronic, electrical and mechanical sub-systems which are fully integrated into one system by the security management system software. The subsystems would be integrated into one security management system (SMS) that controls and records real-time performance on a central database under the credentials of the responsible operator on duty, according to actions or commands given
The implementation of body security scanners was a threat detection solution which combined ultra-low radiation with maximum visibility. It aimed to address the challenges of smuggling contraband and enabled improved detection of hidden metals, weapons and drugs on the body of a person. The scanner would be able to search all body cavities without compromising the privacy of individuals, and would reduce the time taken to manually search offenders, officials and visitors.
Mr Katenga acknowledged that overcrowding was a phenomenon that would form part of the correctional system for some time to come. The DCS was currently reviewing all strategies to manage and alleviate overcrowding. Due to declining financial resources it was necessary to be innovative in implementing effective security initiatives that would support and enhance the service delivery mandate of the DCS
The Chairperson questioned whether resources were being used efficiently following the Department’s budget cut.
A Member questioned the status of the pending SIU investigation. The presentation had made an emphasis on custodial sentences and its contribution to overcrowding, and if this continued to be a problem, was there confidence in an alternative sentencing framework? Referring to managing levels of sentenced inmates, he said that parole was more complicated, as it was determined by the length of sentence and was less easy to manage. He questioned how many people actually benefited from the conversion of sentences to community correctional supervision. Why were security levels not similar across correctional facilities in South Africa, where every single inmate, official or visitor was put through the same form of security checks? It had also been mentioned that rehabilitative programmes were increasingly rolled out to offenders who had served less than 24 months, so he wanted to know to which class of inmates rehabilitation programmes were aimed at, and questioned if all persons in correctional facilities had some form of rehabilitation.
Ms N Maseko-Jele (ANC) said that the Committee was meant to assist the Department in many ways. She agreed with the comment made about the need to educate society about the instances that occurred within the DCS, because when inmates were released, they went back into the community, and society could help the Department in that process. More assistance was needed in correctional centres in respect of rehabilitation, and budget cuts would not help in its implementation. With regard to those officials who had resigned following investigations into corruption, she commented that they were mischievous officials who escaped when they felt that they were about to be caught, and suggested that there should be follow-ups in such instances. She asked for clarity on the body scanners and asked how they would be used on offenders without compromising security.
Ms J Mofokeng (ANC) commented on the body scanner, which she agreed was a good thing, instead of the traumatic experiences of manual body searches. Regarding parole release, she said communities were very difficult when accommodating released offenders, and suggested that both the communities and the officials needed to work together to deal with such matters. She raised concern about outdated facilities, and questioned how many internal psychologists there were in the correctional facilities.
Adv H Mohamed (ANC) referred to overcrowding, and said that one of the interventions would be the conversion of sentences to community correctional supervision. He questioned how the Department decideds who was eligible, and how the process was considered.
Mr W Horn (DA) said that the presentation ended off by saying that due to limited resources the Department needed to resort to innovative ways to address overcrowding, but no new strategies had been identified. He therefore thought it was important to look at available strategies for it being implemented in a better way. Finally there were projects being put it place to implement additional bed space, but the history of built projects was nothing to be proud of, as there had been inordinate delays. How could such delays be prevented in future? The Committee had to persist and identify such pitfalls and delays and how to prevent them. Regarding the electronic monitoring pilot being stopped by the SIU in 2017, he suggested that in order to implement a tangible strategy, there should perhaps be a presentation to address what had been learnt from those pilots, and how it could be approached moving forward.
Adv T Mulaudzi (EFF) said that the overcrowding situation was problematic. He suggested that the SIU could save a lot of money in addressing the problems of overcrowding if more strategies were in place to stop corruption. He was concerned aout the insufficient bed space and that only 12 out of the 243 correctional facilities qualified as new generation facilities. He appreciated that in 2017/18 the DCS had utilised the budget, compared to previous underspending when money was not used. He suggested that all money which would reduce the challenges, such as escape statistics, should be used. He commented that the Department would continue to have overcrowding if parole hearings were postponed unnecessarily.
A Member said that the incident of the inmate who was killed was unfortunate, but at the same time the possession of a sharp object meant that there had been an intention for someone to get hurt. He requested the Department to address the threats of budget cuts and to ensure that essential services were not affected by them. Every correctional facility appeared to be overcrowded -- was there any correctional facility that was not overcrowded. There was a need to quantify the issues that were being dealt with. Regarding the analysis and plans for overcrowding, there were certain elements of overcrowding that were beyond the DCS mandate, in that there were societal problem that were found in correctional centres, so the solutions needed to be found everywhere. He raised his concern about wardens who reportedly smuggled drugs to inmates, in that they were insiders who were supposed to be in charge of security and were defeating the ends of justice. He questioned what was being done about such matters.
Ms W Newhoudt-Druchen (ANC) questioned exactly what rehabilitation was. Did it involve psychologists and social worker services? What programmes were included in rehabilitation? She was concerned about rehabilitation in the prison, in that if nothing had changed in the home environment and the inmate was rehabilitated, what would be its impact? What preparation did the Department do to ensure that the offender was reintegrated -- was there counselling for the community, or counselling for the family to accept the offender back into the community? Regarding technology initiatives and the detectors for detecting drugs, for example, she asked if the Department still used dogs in prisons to detect for drugs or if it relied only on technological innovations. Did it do unannounced spot checks? She said that the DCS had signed national treaties with the United Nations, and would like to know what the current ideal ratio of wardens to prisoners was.
The Chairperson commented on those officials who resigned while they were being investigated for corruption. He questioned what the relationship was between the DCS and the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). With regard to information technology (IT), he questioned to what extent the DCS’s use of IT was up to international standards, to ensure that they were on top of their game with technology.
Mr Katenga said that when someone was incarcerated, the Department ensured security through the entire process.
Ms Nthabiseng Mosupye, Government Information Technical Officer: DCS, said that the body scanners were meant to scan officials, offenders and visitors, and would ensure that people felt comfortable while being scanned. It was able to see within 10 seconds what a person had internally consumed. The DCS would welcome a presentation on the lessons learnt from the electronic monitoring pilot and its impact. There was a need to find technological innovations that would match the country’s needs, especially since the Department had budget cuts and that there may be issues around connectivity and electricity. The DCS had attended international conferences where they had learnt about technologies that were based on research, and had worked with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to look at technologies that could be developed locally, to ensure that the DCS was on par technologically.
Ms Maria Mabena, Acting Chief Deputy Commissioner: Incarceration and Corrections, DCS, replied to the question about psychologists, and said that currently there were 81 full-time psychologists and 45 community services offices. The rehabilitation process was largely a disciplinary approach that involved nurses and psychologists. Regarding the shortage of uniform and shoes which was experienced from time to time, she said that there were many issues that might affect their production -- for example, the ability of service providers to deliver the required material.
Ms Thandiwe Motlonye, Deputy Commissioner: Personal Corrections, DCS, said she had noted all the concerns and agreed that the Department could do more to ensure that the parole processes included public awareness and participation. With regard to overcrowding, it was the nature of correctional facilities to incarcerate, but some correctional facilities were smaller than others and could not contain inmates.
The procedure for the conversion of sentences into correctional supervision was that the inmate should have spent a quarter of the sentence in prison, and the remainder of the sentence should not be above five years. Applications would then be submitted by offenders and the consideration process would begin, where their profiles were considered and then taken to court where the sentence had been given. However, from the beginning of the financial year up until now, there had been no applications, which would be followed-up.
Ms Vuyi Mlomo-Ndlovu, Acting Chief Deputy Commissioner: Remand Detention, DCS, said that the audiovisual commands would not be extended.
Dr Riaan Botha, Acting Deputy Commissioner: Facilities, DCS, referred to how many facilities would be built in the next couple of years, and said that a couple of projects had been completed in this and the previous financial year, and that according to the annual performance plan (APP), there would be construction and upgrades in process, with an increase in bed spaces. He emphasised that there should be no repeat of non-performance or non-delivery of projects.
With regard to the type of technologies that was incorporated in the facilities, the CSIR had been appointed to assist in the design of correctional centres, and it was worth noting that in all correctional centres, especially the new generation correctional centres, new advanced technologies had already been incorporated into designs. For example, there were fully solar systems for hot water, and there had also been the incorporation of integrated security systems into the new generation of correctional centres. The outdated correctional facilities were in the process of operating those systems. There was an infrastructure plan for the next five years to address outdated structures. The lack of hot water contravened the requirement to provide basic services, and a programme had been started in the last financial yea involving plumbing, electrical work etc, making use of qualified inmates. This programme would prioritise resource projects and also empower inmates through enhancing the rehabilitation process.
The department would take measures to ensure that there were no further delays in projects, and so far they could already see a return on investment in a couple of projects. It was also of concern that only a few facilities qualified to support rehabilitation, which would make it difficult to implement effective rehabilitation, so infrastructure plans had taken this into account to ensure that facilities would support rehabilitation.
Mr Mandla Mkabela, Chief Operations Commissioner, DCS, confirmed that a warden had been caught smuggling drugs to inmates. SAPS had been called and he was arrested. An internal investigation was under way for his suspension.
Dogs were still used in the Department, mainly for guarding and escorting, but it realised that there was a need to increase the number of dogs. He confirmed that the DCS did conduct unannounced visits and security checks.
To answer the question about what exactly rehabilitation was, the Department would submit a written response within seven working days.
Ms Veliswa Mvandaba, Acting Deputy Chief Commissioner: Social Reintegration, DCS, agreed that the DCS’s technology and monitoring needed to be up to standard, especially in light of the fourth industrial revolution. The Department had partnered with developmental structures to utilise their assistance and to work on progress on that matter. A district model would be launched that would involve the community becoming more involved in released parolees. This which would require everyone’s responsibility, including the public, in realising that despite being an offender, the released offender then becomes part of society.
In terms of how many offenders had actually benefited from the conversion of sentences, she replied that if the outcomes improved, she was sure that the judiciary would gain confidence in the process. She suggested that before any offender was released on parole or community correctional supervision, measures needed to be in place for officials to go out and confirm suitability, such as going to the family and consulting with the family that the person was in need of stable conditions, and that could be the contribution of the family to their successful rehabilitation. They should also consult the family to make them aware that the DCS were there if they needed any support or assistance. It was important to have a responsive justice programme.
With regard to stigma, she said that when an offender was released, the public needed to be made aware of their efforts to welcome that person back into the community, so the Department should be in partnership with community structures to de-stigmatise.
Mr Lucky Mthethwa, Chief Security Officer, DCS, commented that one assault was an assault too many, and that the strategies and interventions presented alluded to that. The idea was to implement the body scanners in facilities, and that training was included. The DCS had to obtain a certificate from the Department of Health to ensure that it would not harm those who used it.
The Department was trying to address the influx causing overcrowding, and there had been changes. For example, the indicators in security had been achieved, although perhaps not at desired levels. However, it was important to take note of case studies and in-depth research to ensure further progress.
Mr Fraser said that the Department would ensure the successful roll-out of the security and technology infrastructure programmes. When an official was attacked, it was an attack on the state. There was a need to distinguish between the types of assaults, because currently all that was being done was to sentence the offender for a longer period. With regard to escape statistics, many offenders who escaped did so at agricultural facilities, so a much greater level of responsibility was needed in those spaces. The Department was putting in place strategies to mitigate escapes, and was conducting joint operations with other law enforcement agencies to address such matters.
Ms Newhoudt-Druchen repeated her question about the current and ideal ratios of wardens to inmates. With the reintegration of offenders back into the community, she questioned if the Department used the assistance of any non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to assist in facilitating between the Department and the community or the family.
Mr Holomisa said that his understanding was that private facilities had a contract with the Department, that they would take up to only a certain number of inmates. He suggested a comparison between private and public correctional facilities regarding education and provision, and said the DCS needed to come up with a system to elevate public facilities.
Regarding the rehabilitation of offenders, he said rehabilitation constituted a psychological nature, and aimed towards an outcome where on their release, the offenders could be productive members of society and increase their chances of employment. He questioned the preparation that could be done to educate communities and families to support the released as they reintegrate into society. They needed to be welcomed back, as it was the community and society itself that produced the conditions.
He raised concern over the budget cut and its implications, in that the Department would struggle to provide security to inmates and officials, and to produce basic rights such as food and space to inmates, which was a problem. Support would be welcomed from the Committee to address that matter.
Regarding technological innovations, the Department would work closely with the CSIR to ensure security development in correctional facilities.
The Chairperson suggested that there was the need to deal with matters in a more detailed way. It was very important to discuss plans and strategies and ensure that enough support and oversight was given to correctional services.
Health and wellness of women in prison
Dr Thabo Rapoo, Director: Research, Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), said the purpose of the study into the health and wellness of women in prison had been to assess the extent to which the DSC was upholding the human rights of female inmates in their correctional facilities from a health perspective.
A limitation had been the controlled nature of the prison environment, which had the potential to prevent inmates from speaking freely to researchers without fear of repercussions, and in some centres such as Bizzah Makhate and Johannesburg, some of the specialists, including the doctors, were unavailable to be interviewed. Site visits to the different correctional services facilities were limited to only three days, and in many instances’ cooperation was not freely forthcoming from many officials, both at the various centres and at the national level, to provide relevant supporting documents.
Arising from the research, the Commission’s recommendations were:
- To address the issue of inadequate training and capacity building, the DCS should carry out a skills audit of key personnel that work directly with inmates in order to develop a clear long-term skills development strategy. This could be done by approaching the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (SASSETA) for funding, and developing a training programme that would focus on gender equality and human rights.
- The long-term skills strategy should be supported by the development of an annual skills plan, with clear allocations of financial resources and a focus on knowledge of how to handle the specific needs of female inmates.
- The DCS should carry out a thorough needs analysis of its centres to determine the optimal number of all specialists to carry out functions for caring for female inmates, especially their mental health status.
- It should develop a clear programme of collaboration with relevant NGOs in the sector, to augment the limited resources at their disposal.
- Owing to the realisation that prison-cell overcrowding contributes to the burden on prison resources and exacerbates the transfer of communicable diseases, there should be greater efforts to reduce overcrowding, such as diversion programmes for women and juvenile offenders from the criminal justice system.
- The DCS should formulate a policy to regulate the supply and distribution of toiletries, including sanitary towels. This policy should contain clear and suitable guidelines on the quality and quantity of sanitary towels to be provided within an appropriate period of time.
Dr Rapoo said that overcrowding remained a central issue, and was quite prominent throughout the research study. The second issue was infectious diseases. One of the problems found in correctional facilities was that the admissions process was faulty, in that there was a lack of staff to follow procedures. Many incoming prisoners with problems of substance abuse, infectious diseases and medical conditions went undetected and therefore untreated, because of a lack of specialists or qualified staff. It was found that ordinary nurses often had to do the work of specialists. This meant that illnesses did not just go undetected, but that infectious diseases may spread, especially in the context of overcrowding.
Overcrowding also posed a threat to prisoners’ rights, in that many prisoners may have emergency or medical prescriptions with a lack of resources and inadequate staff, while other problems related to overcrowding were gang violence, suicide and sexual abuse. Problems of overcrowding compounded other problems. One of the causes of overcrowding was also the slow process of justice and court cases and the increasing number of prisoners on remand.
Dr Rapoo said that the DCS had masked the problems of correctional services, and had not given the full extent of the problem in their presentation, where many female prisoners were affected. Because they were a special category, they tended to suffer from higher rates of stress, separation anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses, but there were a shortage of mental health care within those facilities. He insisted that the DCS had a serious problem to deal with. He pointed out that most of the representatives from the DCS and the Deputy Minister had been present for only the first presentation, and that in that presentation no mention had been made regarding female prisoners, which showed that their efforts were not geared towards the minority of female prisoners, but rather to the mass male population. Even though there were many commendable programmes for female prisoners on the ground, their effective implementation remained weak.
The Chairperson suggested that both the CGE and DCS should be called in after three months to present to the Committee to provide responses to the recommendations and issues that had been made by the Committee.
Ms Mofokeng agreed that the DCS, CGE and the Committee needed to work together to make things better for the communities.
Ms Maseko-Jele commented that all members or representatives should have been present at all the presentations. Joint presentations should be planned for the next meeting.
Ms Newhoudt-Druchen agreed, and said it was disappointing that most delegates from the DCS had left before the second presentation, except for one person. The DCS should have stayed to listen to the presentation by the CGE.
The Chairperson said the Committee needed to plan better for future meetings and consider the weight of each presentation. A joint presentation should be planned, where the DCS would be expected to present at a higher level.
The meeting was adjourned.
- Security and overcrowding in correctional facilities: briefing; Assessing health & welfare services for female offenders: CGE briefing 2
- Security and overcrowding in correctional facilities: briefing; Assessing health & welfare services for female offenders: CGE briefing 3
- Security and overcrowding in correctional facilities: briefing; Assessing health & welfare services for female offenders: CGE briefing 1
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