These submissions are based, for the most part, on the CSPRI’s “Report on Children in Prison in South Africa (“the Report”),” which was published in May 2012. The Report is a comprehensive review of the situation of children in South Africa’s prisons and was undertaken with the following aims in mind: (a) to establish baseline information in respect of the imprisonment of children with a view to monitor the implementation of the Child Justice Act; and (b) to provide stakeholders with reliable information to be used in advocacy for prison and sentencing reform.
The research therefore focussed on: (a) investigating the legislative and policy framework pertaining to children in prison with particular reference to the Correctional Services Act and the Child Justice Act; (b) the conditions in which children are detained; (c) services rendered to sentenced and unsentenced children in prison; and (d) Statistics on children in prison in respect of age, gender, race, sentence profile, and offence profile.
The sources of data used in compiling the report, were: (a) Individual interviews with 19 children from a select number of prisons where children (sentenced and unsentenced) were detained. These prisons are: Brandvlei, Cradock, Emthonjeni, Kroonstad, Pollsmoor, Port Elizabeth, Rustenburg and Westville; (b) A checklist on infrastructure, conditions of detention and services to children were administered by Independent Visitors of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) at 41 prisons; and (c) Quantitative data on children in the correctional system was extracted from the DCS MIS with the assistance of the JICS.
Many of the Report’s findings have a bearing on the Child Justice Act. These will be presented in this submission.