ATC200717: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on Vote 22: Correctional Services, as Contained in the Adjustments Appropriation Bill [B10-2020], Dated 17 July 2020.

Justice and Correctional Services

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES ON VOTE 22: CORRECTIONAL SERVICES, AS CONTAINED IN THE ADJUSTMENTS APPROPRIATION BILL [B10-2020], DATED 17 JULY 2020.

 

  1. INTRODUCTION

 

  1. On 24 June 2020, the Minister of Finance tabled the Special Adjustment Budget in Parliament in response to challenges presented by COVID-19 in the Country.

 

  1. Section 12 of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act 9 of 2009 provides that, if the Minister of Finance tables a revised Fiscal Framework, the Framework must be referred to the Standing Committee on Finance (in both Houses) which must report to the respective Houses within 15 days, or as soon as possible afterward.

 

  1. Once Parliament (both Houses) has passed the Revised Fiscal Framework, the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill and the Adjustment Appropriation Bill must be referred to the Standing Committee on Appropriation in the National Assembly. While the Committee on Appropriation- and other parliamentary committee- may consider both amendment bills simultaneously, it may only report on the Adjustment Appropriation Bill after Parliament has passed the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill.

 

  1. Section 12(19) states further that the Committee on Appropriation must report to the relevant House within 30 days after tabling of the national adjustments budget or as soon as reasonably possible thereafter. 

 

  1. Section 12(6)(b) of the Money Bills Act provides that standing rules must provide for “other Committees to consult with the Committee on Appropriation on amendments to transfer payment, recurrent and capital expenditure of a vote or a main division of a vote, taking into consideration the reports referred to in Section 5(2) or any other report adopted by the House [for example, Budget reports]”.

 

  1. The Committee received a briefing on Adjustment budget from the Department of Correctional Services on the 15th July 2020. The meeting took place by way of virtual platform.

 

  1. IMPLICATION OF COVID-19 ON THE MANDATE OF THE DEPARTMENT

 

  1. The DCS’s mandate is derived from the Correctional Services Act (No. 111 of 1998), as well as the White Paper on Correctional Services (2005) and the White Paper on Remand Detention Management in South Africa (2014). The legislation and policies inform all the efforts towards achieving the safe and human detention of offenders and remand detainees, rehabilitation and social reintegration into the community.

 

  1. COVID-19 will have an impact on a number of projected service delivery areas of the Department of Correctional Services for 2020/21 financial year as follows:

 

Table 1: Impact of COVID-19 on performance of the Department for 2020/21

INDICATOR

IMPLICATION ON PERFORMANCE

% of officials charged and found guilty for corrupt activities

All disciplinary hearings have stopped since the lockdown commenced

% of youth employed in the Department

Recruitment processes have been suspended during lockdown period

% of inmates who escaped from correctional facilities

There has been one escape incident since the lockdown commenced where four (4) inmates escaped on 03 April 2020. This will have an impact on the performance of the 2020/2021 FY

% of inmates injured as a result of reported assaults in correctional facilities

There had been one hundred and forty four (144) reported assaults from 01 April 2020 to 15 July 2020

% of confirmed unnatural deaths in correctional facilities

 

The Department has reported seven (7) incidents of deaths (still to be confirmed) from 01 April 2020 to 15 July 2020.

% of overcrowding in correctional facilities in excess of approved bed-space capacity

 

The current actual performance for April 2020 is 132.27% which is lower than the set target due to 2019 Special Remission which has relieved the overcrowding.  The number of Remand Detainees have increased over the festive season and this is expected to further increase due to contravention of lockdown regulations.

% of offenders’ profiles approved for placement by the Correctional Supervision and Parole Boards (CSPBs)

 

COVID-19 will delay parole approvals. Rendering of programmes in some correctional centres has been affected resulting in some cases being referred back for further profiles during the lockdown.  

 

% of parolees without violations

 

Limited physical monitoring taking place. Monitor low and medium risk through phone or online checking where possible. Monitoring will increase as restrictions are relaxed.

% increase of victims participating in Restorative Justice programme

 

Victim Offender Dialogue/Victim Offender Mediation are suspended during the lockdown period as social distancing has to be maintained.

 

 

  1. 2020/21 BUDGET ALLOCATION FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES
    1. The DCS received R26.8 billion in 2020/21. This is an increase of 6% or R1.5 billion from 2019/20. The allocation is projected to increase to R29.8 billion over the medium term (2022/23). Of the total allocation for 2020/21, 70 per cent (or R18.7 billion) goes towards Compensation of Employees.

 

  1. Administration and Incarceration received R5, 343.1 billion and R15, 822.6 billion respectively and both account for a combined 79 per cent of the total budget of which 59 per cent was allocated to Incarceration programme and 20 per cent was allocated to Administration.

 

  1. Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration on the other hand received R2, 164.2 billion and R1, 077.3 billion respectively and together they account for only 12 per cent of the total budget of which 8 per cent was allocated to Rehabilitation and 4 per cent was allocated to Social Reintegration. Care programme received 9 per cent of the total allocation for 2020/21, which translate to R2, 392.8 billion. 

 

  1. 2020/21 ADJUSTMENTS BUDGET OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVCIES

 

Table 2: Revised programme allocations

Programmes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

R’ 000

2020/21 Main budget

Downward revision

 

Suspension of funds (COVID-19 purpose)

 

Downward revision

 

Virement from (COVID-19 purpose)

Reallocations

 

Allocated to

(COVID-19 purpose)

 

Reallocations

 

Virements to (COVID-19 purpose)

2020/21

Total net change proposed

2020/21 Total allocation proposed

Administration

5 343 066

- 261 513

 -49 877

 237 713

 13 164

-60 513

 5 282 553

Incarceration

15 822 624

    -

-188 473

 -

   1 375

-187 098

15 635 526

Rehabilitation

2 164 210

    -

   -3  204 

 -

-

    -3 204

 2 161 006

Care

2 392 799

   -

 -42 240

   23 800

269 255

 250 815

 2 643 614

Social Reintegration

1 077 263

   -

 

-

-

-

 1 077 263

TOTAL

26 799 962

-261 513

-283 794

261 513

283 794

-

26 799 962

 

  1. TheDepartment of Correctional Services has not been allocated any additional funding during the special adjustment period. However, there has been some reprioritisation of funds through suspension and virements of funds.

 

  1. An amount of R261, 513 million under programme Administration which was meant for filling of vacancies was suspended for that purpose and reallocated for COVID-19 purposes both under Administration (R237, 713 million) and Care R23, 800 million) programmes.

 

  1. Virements to the amount of R283, 794 million were made from four programmes namely, Administration (-R49, 877 million); Incarceration (-R188, 473 million); Rehabilitation (-R3, 204 million) and Care (-R42, 240 million). These virements were made to the following three programmes: Administration (R13, 164 million); Incarceration (R1, 375 million) and Care (R269, 255 million). 

 

  1. At economic classification level, an amount of R261, 513 million was suspended under Compensation of Employees and only R23, 800 million was reallocated from this item to Care programme.

 

  1. An amount of R122, 731 million was suspended under Item: Goods and Services which was meant for operating leases, travel and subsistence, catering, venues and facilities and an additional amount of R252, 049 million was reallocated to this Item.

 

  1. Under the Item: Machinery and Equipment an amount of R269, 458 million was reallocated for procurement of pharmaceutical fridge, thermal fogging machine and mist blower for sanitising and decontaminating equipment.

 

  1. The Department has reported the following funding for COVID-19 in 2020/21: Health Care Services to Inmates and Members R40 million; Laundry machines and decontamination of Correctional Facilities R21,284 million; Information Technology R250 million; Increase capacity of Health Care Workers R63,8 million; Personal Protective Equipment R209 million; and Quarantine/Isolation Units R21, 641 million.

 

  1. The Department has made the following amendments to their Annual Performance Plans for 2020/21
  • Approved shift pattern system for correctional facilities
  • Number of COVID-19 awareness sessions concluded for officials: 2 304
  • Number of sites where body scanners are installed: additional 5
  • Number of sites where mesh network and integrated security system are installed
  • Number of sites where sensing and surveillance system are installed
  • Number of sites where inmate communication system are installed
  • Number of sites implemented with health screening APP with tracking, tracing and monitoring
  • Percentage of remand detainees subjected to Continuous Risk Assessment
  • Percentage of overcrowding in correctional facilities in excess of approved bed capacity
  • Percentage of sentenced offenders with Correctional Sentence Plans who completed correctional programmes: 50 per cent
  • Percentage of clothing masks manufactured for inmates: 80 per cent
  • Percentage of inmates clinically tested for COVID-19
  • Percentage of inmates who have recovered from Coronavirus.

 

  1. COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS

 

  1. COVID-19cases. The Deputy Minister of Correctional Services reported on the 15 July 2020 that there were 1162 active cases in correctional facilities of which 999 were officials and the remaining 163 were inmates. He further reported that there has been a total of 1 895 recoveries of which 1 187were inmates and 698 were officials. The Committee is concerned about the recovery rates of officials which currently stands at 48 per cent and would like encourage the Department to provide necessary support to all those infected by the virus. 

 

  1. Community Corrections. The Committee continues to be concerned about the ability of community corrections to effectively manage the population of parolees and probationers under the system of community corrections. The Department is requested to provide the Committee with detailed plans on how they will effectively monitor those under the system of community corrections.

 

  1. Recidivism. The Committee has noted with disappointment that out of 6 349 parolees who have been released recently as part of COVID-19 parole dispensation 5 were re-arrested within a short period of time. The Department is requested to provide the Committee with details regarding offences they were sentenced for before they were released on parole and the offences they were re-arrested for while on parole and any other relevant information in this regard.     

 

  1. Reduced targets. The Committee is still concerned about reduced performance targets especially on indicators that play significant role in rehabilitation and social reintegration of offenders. A number of offenders will be impacted negatively when they have to appear before parole boards in the near future if there are programmes they did not attend.  The Department is requested to find alternative means of ensuring that many offenders are not unnecessarily excluded from rehabilitation programmes during COVID-19 period. 

 

  1. Procurement of PPEs. The Committee is interested in finding out whether all supply chain prescripts are being followed during the COVID-19 period in procurement of PPEs and other relevant equipment to address the pandemic in correctional facilities. In this regard, the Department is requested to provide the Committee with a list of services procured for COVID-19 and with information on how SCM process were followed including names of those service providers and the amount involved in each case.

 

  1. COVID-19 risk-register. The Committee is also interested to find out from the Department what kind of risks they have identified posed by COVID-19 in the Department and how they will mitigate such risk. The Department is therefore, requested to provide a risk-register to the Committee outlining all risks identified and mitigating factors for each.    

 

  1. Overcrowding. The Department has reported that currently overcrowding has been reduced to 21 per cent as a result of special parole dispensation to address COVID-19 in correctional facilities. The Department is requested to provide the Committee with information on number of facilities with high overcrowding rates even after special parole dispensation and also provide information on strategies implemented to mitigate COVID-19 infections where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

 

  1. Gender-based violence. The Committee notes that the Department provides sentenced offenders with programmes to address offences related to Gender-Based Violence. However, the Committee is also concerned about Gender-Based Violence between officials of the department. The Department is requested to provide the Committee with information on programmes to deal with Gender-Based Violence on officials as well as progress report on the case reported in the Western Cape. 

 

  1. Reduction in the number of remand detainees. The Committeeis concerned about the number of remand detainees in remand detention facilities across the country especially those incarcerated as a result of infringement of lockdown regulations. The Department is requested to provide the Committee with detailed plan on how they will effectively address this population in their facilities. 

 

  1. SUMMARY OF REPORTING REQUESTS

 

Reporting request

Action

Associated timeframe

Community Corrections- plans to monitor those under community corrections system [See paragraph 5.2].

 

Recidivism- information on those re-arrested

[See paragraph 5.3]

Progress report

 

Report

To be informed by Sub-Committee programme

Procurement of PPEs- information on SCM and procurement processes followed

[See paragraph 5.5]

 

COVID-19 Risk register- information on all risk identified and mitigating factors

[See paragraph 5.6]

Report

 

 

Report

To be informed by Sub-Committee programme

Overcrowding – Information on overcrowded facilities and strategies to mitigate COVID-19 where social distancing is difficult to implement

[See paragraph 5.7]   

Report

To be informed by Sub-Committee programme

Reduction in the number of Remand Detainees- detailed plans to address the number of remand population

[See paragraph 5.9].

Progress report

To be informed by Sub-Committee programme

Gender-Based Violence – information on measures in place to address GBV especially on officials of the Department as well as report on the investigation on the case from the Western Cape.

[See paragraph 5.8].

Report

To be informed by Sub-Committee prorgramme

 

  1. APPRECIATION

 

  1. The Committee wishes to thank the following for their assistance in this process:

 

  1. The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mr Ronald Lamola; Deputy Minister of Correctional Services, InKosi Patekile Holomisa and officials in the Ministry.

 

  1. National Commissioner, Mr Arthur Fraser, and the officials of the Department of Correctional Service. 

 

  1. RECOMMENDATION

 

  1. Having considered Vote 22: Correctional Services, as contained in the Adjustments Appropriation Bill [B10-2020], the Committee supports it and recommends that the National Assembly approve it.

 

Report to be considered.

Documents

No related documents