Mail and Guardian report here on the sorry state of our prisons, this according to a recent Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (Jics) report. It appears we are not even sure how many prisons we have – ok – a bit trite – but the situation is very serious. Read the M&G report.
The Correctional Services Minister is reported to have said that the department is implementing a turnaround strategy to address the shortcomings in the JICS report. This is all well and good, and we are not about to question the intentions of the department as a whole, but the Direct Democracy Forum maintain that the excessive pressures on correctional services arise from a dysfunctional society, economically, socially and health-wise.
Our policy is not to build more prisons but to create the social, economic and health climate required to reduce the need to put our citizens in prison in the first place. That is not to say that the DDF plan on being soft on crime, far from that, but we acknowledge that a dysfunctional society will result in dysfunctional people who will be more likely to end up in prison than will functional people in a functional society. So our goal is make our society functional and make our people functional, generally speaking, and deal severely with those who are engaged in criminal activities from choice rather than from necessity.
The buck stops at the ballot box.