Community Corrections Community Corrections started on the 15 August 1991 in The Republic of South Africa (RSA).Introduction
In the RSA there are basically two alternatives to imprisonment, namely correctional supervision and parole, which are exercised by the Department of Correctional Services and is called Community Corrections.
Community corrections is that component of offender control which deals with offenders in the community.The purpose of community corrections
The purpose of community corrections is to assist offenders in their reintegration into the community and to exercise supervision and control over offenders who have been sentenced to correctional supervision placed out of prison under correctional supervision and those persons who have been placed by courts under supervision of the Department of Correctional Services as well as those offenders who have been placed out on parole.
Correctional supervision is a community-based sentence which is served by the offender in the community under the control and supervision of correctional officials, subject to conditions which have been set by the court or the Commissioner of Correctional Services, in order to protect the community and to prevent relapse into crime.Functions
Correctional officials working at Community Corrections offices Countrywide are responsible for the performance of various functions with regard to offenders who are serving their sentences in the community. These functions include, inter alias, the following:
Submission of pre-sentence reports to courts
No court in South Africa may impose a sentence of correctional supervision without a pre-sentence report either by a correctional official or a probation officer. Staff members with qualifications in behavioural sciences or experts in behavioural/social sciences are placed at courts for the drafting of pre-sentence reports which contain the basic/background information about an accused person, which may assist the court in determining a suitable sentence for the person concerned.
Dealing with persons not sentenced to correctional supervision but only placed under our supervision
The following are the categories of the above-mentioned persons:
Persons under the age of 18 years who, instead of being released on bail, have been placed by the court or SAPS under the supervision of the Department of Correctional Services pending further appearance in court.
Persons under the age of 18 years who have been placed by the court under the supervision of the Department of Correctional Services.
Persons above the age of 18 years but under 21 years who have been placed by the court under the supervision of the Department instead of imposing punishment on him/her.
Persons to whom bail has been granted on condition that they will be under the supervision of the Department of Correctional Services. Persons placed under correctional supervision as a condition for a suspended or a postponed sentence.
The Community Corrections Offices manage supervision over the above-mentioned persons in accordance with the conditions that have been set by the courts. In these cases where the court has left the setting of conditions to the discretion of the Department of Correctional Services, the Head of Community Corrections may set the necessary conditions in order to exercise control over the offender, to protect the community and to address the individual treatment needs of each case. Young offenders in the above-mentioned categories are dealt with in co-operation with the Department of Welfare.
Setting/Executing of conditions for correctional supervision as a sentence option
Supervision conditions give content to the sentence of correctional supervision. This implies that without conditions one may not talk of a sentence of correctional supervision. These conditions are primarily aimed at exercising control over the offender and protecting the community and on the other hand, they are also aimed at effecting change, reform and rehabilitation of the offender. Compliance with these conditions is managed by the personnel of Community Corrections Offices... read more