Longer remand detention and fewer convictions

Jean Redpath presented a paper on remand detention trends in South Africa at the Fifth International Conference: National and International Perspectives on Crime Reduction and Criminal Justice, held in Sandton, Johannesburg, on 14 and 15 August 2014.

Jean analysed data on arrests, remand detention numbers and duration since 1994, prosecutions, and sentenced admissions to prison. She argues that the the ‘tough on crime’ approach embodied in bail and sentencing law has had a profound impact on thetrends around remand detention, including prison overcrowding of such an extent that it is estimated to have contributed to an additional 8 500 natural deaths in custody. Ultimately the policies have led, in practice, to an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ effect: fewer people are being tried and sentenced, while more than ever are denied theirfreedom without ever being tried in a court of law.

The paper on which he presentation is based is available here.

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