How our focus on punishment fails society and inmates
While many prisoners in SA live in overcrowded, inhumane conditions often inconsistent with human rights, billions of taxpayer rands are invested in prisons every year. However, conditions in prisons and reoffending rates contribute to a broken system which, if not addressed, could cost taxpayers more in the long run and aggravate the dire state of our prisons. There is very little value for money. The Department of Correctional Services received R22bn in the 2018 budget, the same amount allocated to the Department of Basic Education. However, spending could be reduced if funding is invested wisely. The correctional services’ budget reveals an incarceration philosophy apparently aimed at keeping inmates behind bars, rather than attempting to correct behaviour by providing a "safe, secure and humane environment which allows for optimal rehabilitation and reduced repeat offending", as stipulated in the department’s mandate. The department’s incarceration programme’s top three sub-prog...
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