Authors - Carolyn Raphaely

Justice isn’t always just. Just ask exoneeres at Innocence Network Conference in Memphis, Tennessee

None of the exonerees who journeyed to Memphis from all over the US traveled light. With an astonishing 3,501 years behind bars clocked up between them for heinous crimes they did not commit – including arson, murder, rape, and robbery – these “innocents” of all ages, stages, colours and creeds carried heavy emotional baggage. The majority also bore an enormous debt of gratitude to Innocence Network lawyers, some of whom had worked for years to secure their release. A former Soshanguve taxi driver, Thembekile Molaudzi, was there. 


Op-Ed: Mayhem and management in SA’s prisons

Anyone who still thinks SA’s prisons are luxury hotels should think again – particularly about the underlying reasons why inmates died, warders were critically injured and cells set alight during rioting at Leeuwkop, Krugersdorp, St Albans and Johannesburg (Sun City) prisons late last year.


Lies, damn lies and statistics

"With statistics about official-on-inmate violence currently as clear as mud and the truth hiding in plain sight, only one thing is certain: brutality behind bars appears to be an issue requiring urgent oversight and attention. Meantime, the prison oversight body needs to take a long hard look at its reporting methods which seem to conceal a whole lot more than they reveal."


The Rottweiler, the Warders, the Dead Inmate and the Video Footage that spurred a Judge to action

Clearly the use of force behind bars is highly contentious. In terms of the law, the only permissible force is minimum or necessary force, used to stop or prevent a dangerous situation. Any other force is regarded as gratuitous, excessive and unlawful. Yet prison officials operating in the context of the prevailing culture of violence appear to resort to violence as a default position.