BAR ALL

The role of the depart­ment of cor­rec­tional ser­vices is to con­trib­ute to a just, peace­ful and safer coun­try through the ef­fec­tive, hu­mane in­car­cer­a­tion of in­mates and the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and so­cial in­te­gra­tion of of­fend­ers. A Sat­ur­day Ci­ti­zen pho­tog­ra­pher w

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - SNAPCHAT -

Sat­ur­day Ci­ti­zen pho­tog­ra­pher Michel Bega went to a max­i­mum se­cu­rity prison, the Leeuwkop Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity, north of Bryanston, for the in­side scoop.

1. GATE­KEEPER

A prison warder at the gate of the max­i­mum se­cu­rity fa­cil­ity at the Leeuwkop Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity, north of Bryanston. The fa­cil­ity is home to con­victed Czech mob­ster Radovan Kre­j­cir.

2. TIME CAP­SULE

In­mates in the max­i­mum-se­cu­rity fa­cil­ity. The Leeuwkop Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity ac­com­mo­dates 4 259 prison­ers and is more than 30% over­crowded. Of­fend­ers are serv­ing time for ag­gres­sive, sex­ual and eco­nomic crimes. Their sen­tences range from two to 100 years im­pris­on­ment, with one serv­ing 101 years for mul­ti­ple rob­beries.

3. PLAY­TIME

The en­trance to a court­yard in the max­i­mum se­cu­rity area. Ac­cord­ing to cor­rec­tional ser­vices spokesper­son Mo­cheta Monama, over­crowd­ing cre­ates chal­lenges for the depart­ment. ‘The pro­vi­sion of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­grammes is af­fected. Se­cu­rity may at times be com­pro­mised and the pro­vi­sion of ba­sic ser­vices is stretched due to the high in­take of in­mates.’

4. BED­DING DOWN

An in­mate in a dor­mi­tory in max­i­mum-se­cu­rity. ‘The depart­ment con­tin­ues to put mea­sures in place to en­sure ser­vice de­liv­ery is not im­pacted and se­cu­rity is not af­fected. There is a short­age of staff due to a high turnover and bud­get cuts. How­ever, we con­tinue to en­sure that our fa­cil­i­ties are cen­tres of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and are se­cure at all times,’ says Monama.

5. AIM­ING HIGHER

In­mate Bafana Hasani, 31, sits on his bed in a max­i­mum se­cu­rity dorm, next to a pho­to­graph of him­self col­lect­ing his civil en­gi­neer­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tion, which he at­tained in the fa­cil­ity. Of­fend­ers can fur­ther their ed­u­ca­tion while in the sys­tem. Dur­ing my visit I ob­served a group of in­mates writ­ing an exam.

6. SMOKE BREAK

Prison­ers walk through a court­yard. A grow­ing chal­lenge is the use of cell­phones. ‘Th­ese gad­gets are used to make threats, plan es­capes and in the or­ches­tra­tion of il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties even while be­hind bars,’ says Singabakho Nx­u­malo, di­rec­tor of pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion, stake­holder re­la­tions and me­dia ser­vices. ‘Of­fend­ers are rep­ri­manded.’

7. SOUL FOOD

There is a chapel at the fa­cil­ity. While I was there some prison­ers were tak­ing an art class. Ac­cord­ing to one, who did not want to be named, gangs are a big prob­lem. He at­tempts to stay away from them by get­ting in­volved in var­i­ous work­shops and classes.

8. GROUNDED

For­mer Bo­eremag mem­ber Kobus Pre­to­rius has been in prison since 2002, fol­low­ing his ar­rest for his in­volve­ment in a plot to over­throw the ANC gov­ern­ment. He has served at a num­ber of pris­ons, but en­joys the Leeuwkop fa­cil­ity as the dorms open up on to court­yards, as op­posed to pas­sage­ways. ‘I grew up on a farm, so I en­joy the sky and open space,’ he says.

9. MAK­ING A MARK

A pris­oner is seen in the med­i­cal ward. ‘Med­i­cal care is also un­der strain due to over­crowd­ing,’ says Monama. A to­tal of 55 pa­tients there have been di­ag­nosed with men­tal ill­nesses. ‘We have made the screen­ing of of­fend­ers upon ad­mis­sion a manda­tory prac­tice, as it pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to de­tect and treat pre­vi­ously un­met health­care needs,’ Nx­u­malo says.

10. SEE­ING THE LIGHT

A tat­tooed of­fender is seen work­ing in the up­hol­stery work­shop. The fa­cil­ity also has steel and wood work­shops where of­fend­ers are taught to man­u­fac­ture fur­ni­ture, among other things. The Leeuwkop fa­cil­ity also has a pig­gery and a dairy, which in­tro­duces in­mates to a pos­si­ble ca­reer in agri­cul­ture.

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