skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 65068 Find in a Library
Title: PROSPECT OF PENAL REFORM IN SOUTH AFRICA
Journal: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OFFENDER THERAPY AND COMPARATIVE CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:23  Issue:2  Dated:(1979)  Pages:99-108
Author(s): J MIDGLEY
Corporate Author: Assoc for Psychiatric Treatment of Offenders
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Assoc for Psychiatric Treatment of Offenders
London, NW1 6BU, England
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: THE HISTORY OF SOUTH AFRICAN PENAL PRACTICE AND EFFORTS AT PENAL REFORM ARE REVIEWED, AND PROSPECTS FOR FUTURE REFORM ARE ASSESSED.
Abstract: DURING MOST OF THIS CENTURY, SOUTH AFRICAN PENAL PRACTICE HAS BEEN BASED IN THE BELIEF THAT PUNISHMENT, BY MEANS OF HARSH IMPRISONMENT, CORPORAL PUNISHMENT, AND CAPITAL PUNISHMENT, IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE MEANS OF SOCIAL CONTROL, EVEN THOUGH RISING CRIME RATES SHOW THE INADEQUACY OF THIS POLICY. ALTHOUGH THE LEGISLATURE HAD BEEN UNYIELDING AGAINST PENAL REFORM EFFORTS IN THE PAST, THE GOVERNMENT APPOINTED A COMMISSION IN 1971 TO EXAMINE PENAL PRACTICES AND MAKE REFORM RECOMMENDATIONS. THIS ACTION WAS LARGELY IN RESPONSE TO PRESSURE FROM REFORM GROUPS. THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDED GREATER USE OF DIVERSIONARY PROGRAMS FOR PETTY OFFENDERS, ALONG WITH NONCUSTODIAL SENTENCES. THE ABOLITION OF STATUTORY MINIMUM SENTENCES AND THE EXPANSION OF JUDICIAL DISCRETION IN SENTENCING WERE ALSO RECOMMENDED. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PAROLE AND AFTERCARE SERVICE WAS URGED. AN EASING OF THE SEVERITY OF CORPORAL PUNISHMENT WAS PROPOSED. ALTHOUGH THE COMMISSION'S REPORT WAS TABLED IN PARLIAMENT, SOME OF ITS RECOMMENDATIONS WERE ACCEPTED IN A SUBSEQUENT CRIMINAL PROCEDURES BILL. SENTENCES OF SOLITARY CONFINEMENT AND SPARSE DIETS HAVE BEEN ABOLISHED, AND THE IMPOSITION OF FEWER STATUTORY MINIMUM PRISON SENTENCES IS PERMITTED. ALSO, GREATER RESTRICTIONS ARE IMPOSED ON THE USE OF CORPORAL PUNISHMENT. WHILE MAJOR CHANGE IN SOUTH AFRICAN PENAL PRACTICE IS NOT IMMINENT, THE POTENTIAL FOR GRADUAL AND REGULAR CHANGE EXISTS, WITH THE APPOINTMENT IN 1977 OF A PERMANENT PENAL REFORM COMMITTEE. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Corporal punishment; Correctional reform; Incarceration; Law reform; Laws and Statutes; South Africa
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65068

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.