“Prisons across the African continent need a rethink” – SABC News

There are more than one million prisoners across the African continent who are said to be living in inhumane, cruel and degrading conditions.

Various African law and justice leaders and human rights organizations across the continent believe it is time to rethink crime, law and imprisonment on the continent.

Various African leaders gathered in Sandton to discuss possible solutions facing the continent’s corrections and justice system.

Various African leaders on the continent say it is time to rethink criminal law and imprisonment. Deputy Justice Minister John Jeffrey says the criminal justice system benefits the rich, and that’s obvious if you look at who’s in prison, the poor. Jeffrey says we are not all equal under the law.

Jeffrey also says that there are some cases around the world where the law has been used in a way that prejudices the poor while protecting the rich.

The Deputy Minister of Justice also says that when it comes to criminal law and justice, the battle is not only between poor and rich, but also race, gender, ethnicity and more. Jeffrey says we need to decriminalize the cycle of poverty. He says that here in South Africa we are still repeating the old apartheid legislation and that is not progress.

Malawi’s Constitutional Court judge Kenan Manda agrees that there are no wealthy people in African prisons.

Former constitutional judge Edwin Cameron thanked Jeffrey for being at the forefront of decriminalizing sex work.

Last month, Deputy Social Development Minister Hendrieta Bogopane-Zulu confirmed plans were underway to decriminalize sex work by 2024.

More in the audio below:

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