n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Private prisons : the international debate and its relation to South Africa

Volume 14, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



Two maximum-security private prisons, otherwise known as joint-venture prisons, are being built in South Africa as a pilot project. The two sites that were chosen by the South African Department of Correctional Services are Louis Trichardt and Bloemfontein. The Bloemfontein private prison is already under construction and is destined for completion on 1 October 2001. This private prison, called Mangaung Maximum Security, is to be managed by Bloemfontein Correctional Contracts (previously known as Ikhwezi Correctional Contracts), a consortium of companies including South African companies and the European-based company Group 4 Correction Services. The Louis Trichardt prison is to be managed by SA Custodial Services, also a consortium of South African companies but ultimately consisting of the internationally known private company Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, with its main headquarters based in Florida, the United States of America (USA). Both international companies are well established and experienced in the business of corrections since they have been operational for a number of years. In fact, since about the mid-1980s the governments of a number of First World countries, most notably the USA, the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia, have all taken part in ventures with the private sector to, amongst other things, operate juvenile and adult correctional facilities. Now it seems South Africa, too, has become involved in this highly debated and controversial aspect of public-private partnerships.

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