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NCJ Number: 221595 Find in a Library
Title: Community Corrections as an Alternative to Imprisonment in South Africa
Journal: Acta Criminologica  Volume:17  Issue:3  Dated:2004  Pages:55-71
Author(s): J. Smit
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 17
Document: PDF
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: South Africa
Annotation: This paper highlights the impact of community corrections on the prison overcrowding problem in South Africa.
Abstract: This research found that the Department of Correctional Services in South Africa has a serious problem with overcrowding in its prisons. It also found that the implementation of the act on minimum sentencing (the Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 or 1997) in its present form does not solve or alleviate the overcrowding. It is recommended that legislation be introduced with the objective of sentencing low-risk offenders to community corrections. This is in direct opposition to the current legislation on minimum sentencing for certain serious crimes, thereby contributing to the present overcrowding problem in South African prisons. It is also recommended that the Department of Correctional Services begin a serious marketing campaign to promote community corrections as an alternative option to imprisonment and to persuade the Department of Justice to sentence convicted offenders to community service more often. It is strongly advocated that the magistrate courts play a leading role by sentencing low-risk offenders directly to correctional supervision and that the option of community service be utilized more often. Under this plan, the courts could contribute to the aim of reducing overcrowding in the long term. South Africa’s prisons are overpopulated to the extent that its accommodation capacity is currently exceeded by an alarming 68 percent. Community corrections could have a significant impact on the alleviation of prison overcrowding. This paper provides a review of the implementation of community corrections to determine how it contributes to the reduction of overcrowding in the prisons. It also provides information on the promoting of an understanding of the impact of community corrections on the prison population growth in South Africa. Bibliography, charts
Main Term(s): Community-based corrections (adult); Prison overcrowding
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Community service programs; Correctional reform; Corrections effectiveness; Foreign correctional systems; Foreign corrections statistics; Overcrowding; Prison conditions; Sentence effectiveness; Sentencing reform; South Africa
Note: To access the full text PDF: 1) select the provided link; 2) from the Acta Criminologica Web site, select "Table of Contents"; 3) select the corresponding Volume and Issue (see the NCJRS abstract record for the exact Volume and Issue); 4) scroll the Table of Contents to the exact article; and 5) click on the "full text" icon. Downloaded on February 14, 2008.
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