CURB THE VENGEANCE: Laws on minimum sentencing and parole spell worsening prison conditions

  • Hannes Fagan Inspecting Judge of Prisons
Keywords: sentencing, minimum sentence, South Africa, prison, crime, correctional services


Since 1995, prison overcrowding has mainly been caused by the massive increase in the number of awaiting trial prisoners. Attempts to reduce these numbers have met with some success. However these efforts are nullified by an increase in the number of sentenced prisoners. Legislation passed in 1997 providing for minimum sentences is now the main cause of overcrowding. The situation will be exacerbated by changes to the release policy as per sections 73 to 82 of the Correctional Services Act 111 of 1998 which came into effect on 1 October 2004.

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