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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The historical development of prisons in South Africa: a penological perspective
Author:Singh, S.
Periodical:New contree: a journal of historical and human sciences for Southern Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Abstract:During the nineteenth century South Africa's prison system was regulated mainly by various provincial ordinances. The British occupation of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State Republics in 1900 led to a major reorganization of the penal system in these provinces. Significant developments in correctional law also occurred in the period immediately after the Union of South Africa in 1910. The Prisons and Reformatories Act, No. 13 of 1911, and the institution of a Department of Prisons, were attempts to create a penal and prison policy for the country as a whole. Later developments in the South African prison system included the appointment of the Lansdown Penal and Prison Reform Commission in 1945; the introduction of the Prisons Act, No. 8 of 1959, which effectively provided for the application of apartheid in the Prisons Service; the removal of all references to race in prison legislation in the late 1980s and the desegregation of prisons; the gradual release of political prisoners in the course of 1990 and 1991; and following 1994, the beginings of a human rights culture in the correctional system. However, regardless of the changes and improvements, imprisonment has remained an instrument of retaliatory punishment rather than rehabilitation, and overcrowding remains the norm for most prisons in South Africa. Ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]