Mapping the Legal Framework to Prevent Sexual Violence & HIV in South Africa’s Correctional Facilities

This paper seeks to outline the policies and laws in place that are focused on the prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS and the prevention of sexual violence in South African detention centres. Each year, 360,000 people circulate through the correctional system. The mistreatment, trauma, and illnesses that inmates are exposed to violates their human rights and has an impact on the public health of the communities to which they return. Violations of prisoners’ rights to health and physical integrity are not only a failure to inmates, it is also a violation of the government’s responsibility to aid in the promotion of the public’s health as contained in the Bill of Rights, international agreements, and domestic legislation and policy. Key policies to address prison sexual abuse and HIV are lacking, leaving South African correctional facilities without a framework to guide their approach to these issues.