oa South African Human Rights Yearbook - Prisoners' rights

Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1354-3903



The years 1997 and 1998 were significant for prisoners in South Africa, as the new democratic government struggled with the problems created by an ever increasing prison population. The first in a series of ultra-secure 'C Max' prisons, designed to accommodate the most high risk offenders, came into operation. At the other end of the spectrum, several new facilities designed specifically for the rehabilitation of low risk offenders were completed. However, these new facilities catered only for a small percentage of the prison population. Most prisoners found themselves 'warehoused' in overcrowded facilities throughout the country. Chronic overcrowding overshadowed much of what transpired during the period under review.

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