Sentencing primary caregivers of young children
Mujuzi, Jamil Ddamulira
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Traditionally a judicial officer was not required to consider the effects of the imposed sentence on the children of the offender, even if the offender was a primary caregiver of young children. The Court in S v M (Centre for Child Law as Amicus Curiae) 2007 (2) SACR 539 (CC) [2007 (12) BCLR 1312] (discussed in detail in Mujuzi (2011) 2 SACJ 164-177) held that, in sentencing primary caregivers of young children, courts should inquire into the effects the sentence will have on such children and, where possible, impose a non-custodial sentence to ensure that the children are not deprived of the care and support of the primary caregiver.