In 2012, I was arrested with two friends for smoking a joint I had just bought off a car guard in Melville, Joburg. Now that dagga has been partially legalised, I feel I can come out of the pot closet.
Authors - Ruth Hopkins
The new ConCourt judgment legalising private use of cannabis should lead to a decrease in dagga arrests, but power still rests with the police. To date, cannabis arrests are one of the biggest SAPS arrest categories. Complete decriminalisation would free up R3.5-billion in police resources. This could be put to good use in combating the worrying 7 % increase in the murder rate, contained in the latest SAPS crime stats.
Inmates say they were given electric shocks and forcibly injected at the multinational security company’s Mangaung Correctional Centre, writes Ruth Hopkins
The question is why does the government not focus more on keeping people out of prison – a more cost-effective and humane solution?
In South Africa, crime statistics for domestic violence, rape and femicide are through the roof. The crime rate for women as perpetrators, on the other hand, is very low. Only approximately 4000 women, a mere 2.6 % of the total prison population, are behind bars.
Ruth Hopkins's second piece in her four part series on women in prison. She spoke to women incarcerated in Pollsmoor prison in Cape Town and Johannesburg Correctional Centre about how they ended up in prison and how they survive behind bars. This is one of their stories.
When women and crime end up in the same headline in South Africa, it usually concerns women who are victims of domestic violence and rape. But women also commit crimes and end up serving time in prison. WJP senior journalist Ruth Hopkins' first piece in her four part series on women in prison. She spoke to women incarcerated in Pollsmoor prison in Cape Town and Johannesburg Correctional Centre about how they ended up in prison and how they survive behind bars.
In 1992 two men were jailed for 19 years for a violent crime they did not commit. This year they confronted the security policeman who had them arrested
Victims of domestic and intimate partner violence such as Reeva Steenkamp and Karabo Mokoena grab headlines and trigger protests, but the women who stay alive by killing their abusive partners in self-defence are forgotten and misunderstood.