The impact of correctional centre overcrowding on rehabilitation of offenders: a case study of Durban Westville correctional centre.
Nkosi, Nozibusiso Purity.
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The existing conditions in correctional centres bring have negative effect of inmates emotional and physical being. The purpose of imprisonment according to the Department of Correctional Services is rehabilitation yet obstacles such as overcrowding makes rehabilitation of offenders impossible. This study was conducted at the biggest correctional centre in KwaZulu Natal, Durban Westville Correctional Centre and argues that the effects of overcrowding in correctional centres includes unavailability resources (participation in rehabilitation programmes), stress amongst inmates, violent behaviour, creation of gangs, corruption, misclassification of inmates, malnutrition and non-consensual sex. This thesis presents the extent of overcrowding in correctional centres, causes of it and also the legal frameworks underpinning correctional centres and rehabilitation in South Africa. In order to understand correctional centres at present the researcher outlined the historical development and shift of prisons to correctional centres. The findings of this study revealed that due to overcrowding in correctional centres, implication of rehabilitation becomes impossible. The inmates recommended that the Department of Correctional Services should employ more correctional officials to help with the implication of rehabilitation programmes as Westville only has one psychologist, one social worker and one educator. The main aim of this study was to examine the perceptions of inmates and officials on the impacts overcrowding has on the rehabilitation of inmates. It is an undeniable fact that correctional centres are no longer safe environment that implements rehabilitation to offenders due to the conditions caused by overcrowding that inmates and forced to live under.