Review of South Africa's Correctional Services Annual Report 2019/2021

16 February 2021: This webinar will review the 2019/2020 Annual Report of South Africa's Correctional Services.
  • What ACJR Event
  • When 16 Feb, 2021 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (Africa/Johannesburg / UTC200)
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The budget for the Dept of Correctional Services for 2019/20 was R25 316 million which translates to a daily cost per prisoner of roughly R447 or R163 155 per year. This is by all accounts a lot of money, but what are South Africans receiving in return? How did the Department manage the budget and are there some notable achievements? What were the failures and are there solutions?

There is little evidence that imprisonment reduces crime, yet we persist with this detestable solution, as Foucault calls it, since we can’t seem to do without it. Mandatory minimum sentences ensured longer prison sentences and significantly expanded the scope of life imprisonment and we are not too far off from 20 000 prisoners serving life. That means nearly seven 3000-bed prisons occupied for at least the next 25 years. In the event that the criminal justice system becomes more effective and efficient, resulting in more offenders sentenced to imprisonment, there will be rapid growth in the prison population far exceeding current capacity. What does this bode for DCS?

It also needs to be asked what is guiding policy development in the Department, since the 2005 White Paper on Corrections seems to have been relegated to obscurity and pro forma mentions.

The Department employs some 35 700 officials making it a fairly large employer in the public service, but how well are they doing? While the disciplinary code seems to be enforced, there are also persistent reports of rights violations perpetrated against prisoners, often resulting in costly litigation against the Department.

Please join us for a 90-minute webinar on the DCS annual report.

Facilitator: Janelle Mangwanda (ACJR)


  • Sasha Gear – Just Detention International (South Africa)
  • Lukas Muntingh – ACJR

The DCS Annual Report 2019/20 can be found HERE

ACJR wishes to acknowledge the support of the Open Society Foundation-South Africa and the Sigrid Rausing Trust for making these webinars possible.


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