Should South Africa re-examine jail time as a punishment for low-risk crimes?
Government is re-examining incarceration as the only option for low-risk crimes, especially in the face of overcrowding.
According to Business Tech, addressing the Portfolio Committee of Justice on Correctional Services on Wednesday, Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola said short-term incarceration for low-risk crimes does not give enough time for the correctional services system to reform and rehabilitate offenders.
Ray White spoke to the minister's spokesperson Crispin Phiri to find out more.
There are certain crimes which are committed against the people which when we look at them, these are not serious crimes, these are not dangerous individuals who have to be removed out of society.Crispin Phiri, Spokesperson - Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services
So someone, for instance, who steals a chocolate from a shop can still find themselves incarcerated in prison because they cannot afford to pay a certain fine whereas that type of person should probably be put through a different type of rehabilitative programme to ensure that indeed they understand the impact of their actions.Crispin Phiri, Spokesperson - Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services
We think that from a cost point of view as well the criminal justice system ... taxpayers could benefit from a system that has many alternatives to incarceration and we focus mainly on individuals who are dangerous so that those people who are dangerous get rehabilitated.Crispin Phiri, Spokesperson - Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services
Click on the link below to hear the full conversation...
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