While the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) remains ambivalent about the extent of violence under its watch, the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (Jics), which champions the rights of inmates, said it was concerned about the escalation in the use of force at the privately run Mangaung facility in Bloemfontein.
Investigative Journalism - Prison and Conditions
Johannesburg - Inmates at two of the country’s maximum-security prisons have called on the watchdog body looking after their interests to exercise stronger oversight against warders, who they claim are acting with impunity in their treatment of prisoners.
The Covid-19 pandemic is having a severe impact on prisoners throughout the country, but far worse are the harrowing accounts of violence against inmates by warders who are meant to be taking care of them.
Sonke Gender Justice has welcomed the Constitutional Court’s confirmation of the decision of the Western Cape judiciary regarding the independence of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) and the rights of prisoners.“We are thrilled the Constitutional Court has confirmed the decision of the Western Cape High Court in declaring sections of the Correctional Services Act unconstitutional.
Johannesburg - South African prisoners are nowhere near being given the human-rights friendly treatment aimed at setting them on a path to rehabilitation.
Johannesburg - “The magnitude of violence in the Mangaung Prison is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” said Mervin “Chunky” West, an inmate, who describes the privately-run prison as a cesspool of gangsterism and bloodshed.
Johannesburg - “It’s been a rough year for prisoners with the terrible fear of contagion.
In the past, solitary confinement was primarily used as a means of punishment and, according to International Human Rights Law, constitutes torture.
The question is why does the government not focus more on keeping people out of prison – a more cost-effective and humane solution?
While many prisoners in SA live in overcrowded, inhumane conditions often inconsistent with human rights, billions of taxpayer rands are invested in prisons every year.