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CORRECTIONAL SERVICES PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
20 May 1998
EMERGENCY SUPPORT TEAMS, PRISONER PRIVILEGE SYSTEM & PRISON LABOUR OPTIMIZATION: BRIEFING BY THE DEPARTMENT
Documents handed out:
Briefing On Emergency Support Teams
Briefing: Optimalisation Of Prison Labour
The Draft Proposed Privilege System
Mr. Steyn of the Department of Corrections briefed the committee on the new privilege system and the restructuring and re-training of the Reaction Units (now to be called Emergency Support Teams). The committee questioned him about the measures being taken to prevent escape from prisons and about the criteria used to select persons for the new Emergency Support Teams.
Mr. Venter presented on the optimization of prison labour. Due to time constraints, a briefing was given but no questions were asked. The committee will meet again to discuss the two documents.
BRIEFING ON EMERGENCY SUPPORT TEAMS
PURPOSE OF PRESENTATION
The Purpose of this briefing is to present to the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services the present status of Task Team Units better known as Reaction Units and proposals on the way forward.
Reaction Units have been established, developed and maintained by the Department of Correctional Services to provide Management Areas with highly trained tactical team of members to deal with crisis situations such as riots, hostage taking etc. As such the Reaction Units shall be activated when the Head of the Prison or his delegate in situations of risk has utilized all alternatives to alleviate the crisis. The Reaction Units will only stabilize situations.
The aim of the Reaction Units is to deliver on request a quick, safe, effective professional Service in order to ensure a safe environment and in so doing protect the interest of the Community, members of the Department of Correctional Services and the offender entrusted to the care of the Department.
There are currently 89 Reaction Units for the nine Provinces. The Statistics per province is as follows:
Northern Cape 6
Eastern Cape 19
Northern Province 3
North West 7
The Department of Correctional Services are aware of the fact that some members in the past did not comply to set standards which resulted in deficiencies in their performances as Reaction Units. This will be addressed in the retraining of all Reaction Unit members.
The Restructuring of the Reaction Units to ensure that it represents the general population of the area as well as the Re-training of all members of the Reaction Units is one of the major identified projects for this financial year.
As part of the Restructuring of the Reaction Units the name will change to Emergency Support Teams (EST) consisting of:
Second in charge
Five sections of four (4) members each (at least two must have a code 11 drivers license).
One Record Keeper
One Medical Trained person.
One Video Operator/Photographer
Four Guards with dogs and or horses
A Task Team brought together from various Provinces compiled a Training Manual for Reaction Units with the aim of using it as a basis for the re-training of Reaction Units during the 1998/99 financial year.
A Project Team consisting of representatives of the Directorate Security: Head Office, Functional Training: Head Office and from the Practice has drawn up a Action Plan for the Re-training of Reaction Units. The training is scheduled to take place from July 1998 to October 1998.
Two Representatives from each Reaction Unit will be brought together to be trained as Trainers. Once the training of these functionaries has been completed they will be tasked to retrain their own Reaction Units during September/October 1998.
The Restructuring and Retraining of Reaction Units/Emergency Support Team are presented as the possible solution to address the need to improve the image and services rendered by the Reaction Units/Emergency Support Teams in the Department of Correctional Services.
BRIEFING: OPTIMALISATION OF PRISON LABOUR
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES
THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON CORRECTIONAL SERVICES REQUESTED TO BE INFORMED WITH REGARD TO THE OPTIMALISATION OF PRISON LABOUR
OBJECTIVES OF PRISONER LABOUR
* THE TRAINING OF INMATES IN A SPECIFIC TRADE
* THE SUCCESSFUL RE-INTEGRATION INTO THE COMMUNITY
* TO COMBAT GANGSTERISM
* THE UTILISATION OF PRISONER LABOUR TO THE BENEFIT OF THE DEPARTMENT AND THE COMMUNITY
* FORMS PART OF DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES COMBAT/PREVENT IDLENESS
* STRIVING FOR SELF-SUFFICIENCY IN INMATE MAINTENANCE
* ALLOCATION OF FEMALE INMATES ON EQUAL BASIS AS MALE INMATES
EXISTING WORK OPPORTUNITIES
* BUILDING GROUP
* HIRING OUT OF PRISONER LABOUR
SENTENCED PRISONERS VS PRISONER LABOUR
[Ed. Note: Table not included]
* INSUFFICIENT GUARDING
* INSUFFICIENT WORK OPPORTUNITIES
* ROUTINE ADMINISTRATION
* SPECIFIC GROUPING OF PRISONERS (SUPER MAXIMUM/MAXIMUM CATEGORIES)
* COURT APPEARANCES
* ESCAPES FROM WORK TEAMS
UNITS LABOUR NOT WORKED MARCH 1998
ROUTINE ADMIN 9412
WEATHER CIRCUMSTANCES 892
SPECIFIC GROUPING 4867
INSUFFICIENT WORK 9490
INSUFFICIENT GUARDING 16006
INSUFFICIENT WORK AND
TOTA L 74770
SHORTFALL ON THE ESTABLISHMENT = +- 6000 MEMBERS
THE FOLLOWING RESULTS WERE ATTAINED BY AGRICULTURE DURING THE PAST THREE FINANCIAL YEARS.
FINANCIAL YEAR EXPENDITURE VALUE OF PRODUCTION PROFIT/BENEFICIALITY
1995/96 R48 786 403 R55 866 873 R7 080 470
1996/97 R50 342983 R57 178212 R6 835 229
1997/98 R52754441 R64498649 R11 744 208
96/97 5 269 000
97/98 6 902 000
INCOME GENERATED THROUGH PRISONER LABOUR
HIRING-OUT 3 648 543 3 329 567
WORKSHOPS 2 550 665 2 227 315
AGRICULTURE 1 468 450 1 263 039
FREE LABOUR TO OTHER STATE DEPARTMENTS R 521 542
LABOUR UTILJSED BY THE DCS R 46 849 776
STEPS BEING TAKEN TO IMPROVE INMATE LABOUR
* IMPLEMENTATION OF HAND CRAFT SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
* EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF HOBBIES
* MOVING TO A SYSTEM OF LISTING EXISTING WORK OPPORTUNITIES FOR PRISONERS TO CHOOSE FROM AND TO ALLOCATE PRISONERS TO CHOSEN POSTS AS FAR AS POSSIBLE
* INITIALISED A PERFORMANCE-AUDIT ON PRISONER LABOUR COUNTRY-WIDE
* EXPANSION OF EXISTING WORK OPPORTUNITIES
* TARGETS SET FOR PROVINCIAL COMMISSIONERS WITH REGARD TO THE OPTIMILISATION OF PRISONER LABOUR
* UTILISE PRISONERS LABOUR TO BUILD HOUSES FOR THE DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES5 THEREBY PROVIDING ALSO TRAINING/DEVELOPMENT FOR INMATES
* INVOLVE COMMUNITY IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH MORE WORK OPPORTUNITIES
THE WAY FORWARD
EVALUATION OF THE PERFORMANCE-AUDIT WHICH WILL BE SUBMITTED AT THE END OF MAY 1998
AREAS THAT WILL BE COVERED:
* BLOCKAGES EXPERIENCED
* PROBLEMS EXPERIENCED IN PRACTICE
* EFFECTIVE UTILIZATION OF PERSONNEL
* ADDITIONAL STEPS TO BE TAKEN IN ORDER TO OPTIMALISE PRISONER LABOUR
* ACHIEVEMENTS REACHED
* EFFECTIVENESS OF INCENTIVES
FOCUS ON CRITICAL AREAS IDENTIFIED BY THE PERFORMANCE-AUDIT
THE DRAFT PROPOSED PRIVILEGE SYSTEM
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES
The purpose of this presentation is to present the proposed privilege system for prisoners
Due to over crowding, the various privileges which exists, the various categories of prisoners and the fact that the current privilege system for prisoners lends itself to be abused/misinterpreted poses certain security risks, it was decided to re-design the privilege system in order to establish a uniform privilege system for prisoners.
This will also ensure a safe and disciplined environment for prisoners and member.
BLOCKAGES EXPERIENCE WITH CURRENT PRIVILEGE SYSTEM
* Promote corruption/bribery Bringing in of unauthorized articles
* Lends itself to be misused
* Threatens the safe custody of prisoners
* Can tribute to a unsafe environment for inmates and members
* Due to overcrowding, the privilege system makes it difficult to search cells which poses a security risk
The main objectives of the proposed "new" privilege system are to:
* minimise the possibility of corruption/bribery
* minimise the inflow of unauthorised articles into prisons
* establish a practical and effective privilege system
* ensure a safe and disciplined environment for prisoners and members
* The draft proposed privilege system will consist of only three(3) privilege groups namely Enhanced, Standard, and Limited in the place of the current A, B, C and D-groups.
* Depending on behaviour an inmate may be promoted or demoted according to a set criteria to either the Enhanced or Limited privilege group.
* A transitional arrangement criteria will be set.
* The entry level for all new admissions will be the Standard privilege group.
* Limited privileges will be allocated to prisoners currently receiving D-group privileges
* Standard privileges will be allocated to prisoners currently receiving B- and C-group privileges
* Enhanced privileges will be allocated to prisoners currently receiving A-group privileges
[Ed. Note: Outline of current and new system privileges and criteria not included]
The new privilege system was forwarded for inputs to:
Heads of Prisons
Human Rights Commission
Inputs received will be evaluated and incorporated in the new privilege system
Submission to the department's Management Board for final approval
If the portfolio Committee so wish, the final product can be presented again before implementation
Implementation of new privilege system
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