Reducing overcrowding in a South African remand detention facility

This case study examines reform that alleviated severe overcrowding and inhumane conditions in Pollsmoor Male Remand Detention Facility (Pollsmoor Remand), a South African incarceration centre for people awaiting trial and sentencing.

From the early 2000s, Pollsmoor Remand has been operating at more than 200% of its approved capacity, with an average occupancy of more than 4 000 people. In 2015, after years of lobbying to reduce overcrowding and in the face of inertia on the part of policymakers and legislators, civil society escalated its advocacy and mounted a constitutional challenge in the Western Cape High Court with the case, Sonke Gender Justice v. the Government of South Africa. In 2016, the judge ruled against the government and made a historic order to reduce occupancy to 150% of its capacity over a six-month period.

To read more, refe to http://genderjustice.org.za/publication/pollsmoor/

Resource type: 
Report

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