The Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) has reiterated its stance on solitary confinement in SA prisons, calling it a violation of human rights.
The JICS conducted three unannounced inspections last year, at:
- Ebongweni Super Maximum Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal;
- the Kgosi Mampuru II C-Max Correctional Centre in Pretoria; and
- the Mangaung Public-Private Partnership Correctional Centre in Bloemfontein.
It confirmed that solitary confinement and prolonged solitary confinement were occurring at Ebongweni and Kgosi Mampuru.
“At both these centres, inmates sit alone in a single cell for 22 to 23 hours a day without stimulation or human contact. There is an hour of exercise — not with other inmates, but alone, in an isolated exercise cage.”
“Food is provided through a slim postbox sliver. The initial period of solitary confinement extends for at least six months.”
Despite the facilities housing the most dangerous and violent inmates, the JICS said it remained deeply concerned about the harsh affect of solitary confinement.