Prisons, the law and overcrowding
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This chapter is about a long-standing problem in the South African criminal justice sector that, despite an overhaul of the prison legislation after the enactment of the final Constitution, continues, twenty years on, to plague the Department of Correctional Services and, of course, those who are incarcerated in the country’s prisons. I examine both the causes and the effects of overcrowding as well as the constitutional implications, and argue that currently the rights of inmates detained in overcrowded prisons are being infringed and that curative measures on the part of the state are needed urgently. I discuss what remedial measures are, or could be, available, some of which could be employed immediately, and others over the medium to long term.