n South African Medical Journal - The state of our prisons and what this reveals about our society : editorial

Volume 104, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



In the third decade of a new South Africa (SA), major challenges are being faced in almost every aspect of life, ranging from meeting minimum daily subsistence requirements, through providing education and primary healthcare, to the functioning of our legal system and governance at local and national levels. While in this context levels of crime and corruption are reaching new heights, we should not lose sight of the need for humane and accountable approaches to crime and imprisonment. The 37th anniversary on 12 September of Steve Biko's death under inhumane conditions and without adequate medical care in prison provides an opportunity to remember past failings and to reconsider the lessons these hold for our society.

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