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Commissioner of Prisons of the Republic of South Africa - Report for the Period July 1, 1978 to June 30, 1979

NCJ Number
Date Published
35 pages
The annual report of the South African Department of Prisons for 1978 to 1979 is presented.
Departmental expenditures increased by 14.2 percent over the previous year, largely because of a new sales tax and the cost spiral. Staff positions were increased by 230, but personnel turnover rates were so high that no personnel gains were achieved despite salary increases. High recruiting standards and training courses for staff development remain priority personnel goals. Special emphasis was placed on assistance in development of Black States within the Republic. In the course of the year, public relations activities included 90 performances by publicity groups, 20 press projects, and 529 prison visits by judges, magistrates, and others. A new prisoner ration scale was created, to be implemented in three phases, and an effort was made to save fuel by reducing vehicle use. The most important methods investigations completed pertained to full saving, construction program evaluation and planning, training of Black prisoners in construction trades, function of prison headquarters' committees and boards, and effectiveness of in-service training. Significant organization investigations related to creation of legal services and health services subsections and establishment of an organizational chart for prison commands. As for prisoner population, the general tendency was for an increase in prisoners serving long-term sentences and a decrease in short-term sentences among inmates; escapes were down by 4.2 percent. Prisoner privileges were expanded through such innovations as gratuities for meritorious service and establishment of a grievance system. As a result of specialized inmate treatment, 339 prisoners wrote academic and technical examinations, 4,147 prisoners received specialized training, and 720 prisoners completed literacy tests. New psychological, social, and health services were also offered. In 1979, 1,489 spiritual workers paid 20,425 visits to prisoners, and 30 conferences were held on pastoral intervention with prisoners. Prison industries permitted inmates to participate in 41 prison center building projects, to maintain their previous level of workshop productivity, and to grow valuable cash crops. Tables, illustrations, and graphs are supplied. --in Afrikaans and English.


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