Resources

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Op-ed: Number of awaiting-trial prisoners increases under lockdown
Author: Jean
Published: Jul 27, 2020

At the start of SA’s lockdown, prisoners were released in a bid to reduce transmission of Covid-19 in prisons. The emphasis was on sentenced persons via special parole. Yet our most crowded facilities are remand centres, holding those awaiting trial. In the Western Cape, since April, there has been a worrying increase in remand imprisonment. What is causing this rise?

Fact Sheet 17: The right of prisoners to vote in Africa (Updated)
Author: Janelle
Published: Jul 13, 2020

This fact-sheet provides a brief update on the right of prisoners to vote in Africa. There have been substantive advances and breakthroughs in the promotion of this right as courts in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and most recently in Uganda have granted prisoners the right to vote. In Mozambique, the Ombudsman has made a recommendation that measures be put in place to allow prisoners to vote in future elections. The enfranchisement of prisoners is a positive step in the promotion of their basic human rights, it is therefore important that countries on the continent that are still lagging behind consider the above examples and follow suit.

Resources on South African Criminal Justice System: Prisons
Author: Janelle
Published: Mar 11, 2020

Africa Criminal Justice Reform (ACJR) has produced research on the South African criminal justice system relating to prisons. This resource list contains summaries and links of work that we have produced in recent years on the topic of prisons.

Resources on South African Criminal Justice System: Police
Author: Janelle
Published: Mar 11, 2020

Africa Criminal Justice Reform (ACJR) has produced research on the South African criminal justice system relating to the police. This resource list contains summaries and links of work that we have produced in recent years on the topic of police.

Powers of arrest curtailed by Constitutional Council of Mozambique – the impact of the 2013 decision
Author: Jean
Published: Sep 02, 2019

This report assesses the consequences of the 2013-decision of the Constitutional Council of Mozambique, which limits to judges the authority to order pre-trial detention for cases falling outside of flagrante delito (where the accused is caught in the act of committing the offence). Although the decision represents a progressive change in the jurisprudence of Mozambique’s highest court, judges, prosecutors and police encounter operational challenges in implementing the decision, in a country with a population of more than 28 million people. In 2017, there were 344 judges, 18 of which were Judges of Criminal Instruction, responsible for issuing warrants of arrest for cases outside of flagrante delito. Concerns were raised in relation to lack of financial and logistical resources for prosecutors, which are mandated to monitor the legality of police detention. As the criminal justice system is under-resourced, police officials have to wait for a judge to issue a warrant of arrest for cases falling outside of flagrante delito. Despite the decision, unlawful arrests continue to happen although there is anecdotal evidence that these have decreased. The 2013-decision has clarified who has the power to authorise arrest in these cases, but the situation is far from being resolved.

ACJR Submission to the Zondo Commission on the National Prosecuting Authority
Author: Jean
Published: Jun 24, 2019

"The current legislation, structure, policies and operations of the NPA result in the outcome that few persons are convicted of serious crimes, and that state officials, in particular, are more likely to escape prosecution. That is, state officials experience impunity for rights violations and for offences related to state capture."