Incarcerating people with disabilites: What the law says

As Oscar Pistorius receives his 6 year sentence, and goes directly to Kgosi Mampuru || prison, how does the law provide for disabled inmates?

Umesh Raga, Acting Director of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services, talks to CapeTalk's Pippa Hudson about what the law provides for when it comes to disabled inmates in prison.

Our domestic legislation, the Correctional Services Act, is informed by the Constitution. All inmates are entitled to conditions consistent with dignity, adequate health care and the like.

Umesh Raga, Acting Director of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services

Raga says in the category of disabled persons, be they physically or mentally disabled, the department has "a positive obligation to make their conditions while incarcerated as least onerous as possible."

Pistorius was previously held in the hospital prison section and raga says this is the most likely scenario..

Inmates with disabilities are usually held on the health care facility, sometimes called the hospital section or clinic., where the ratio of warder to inmate is less and closer attention can be paid.

Umesh Raga, Acting Director of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services

Inmates that have physical disabilities, such as quadriplegics and paraplegics, often have special needs regarding bathing, the type of bed they sleep in and mobility issues, says Raga.

Raga says that the Judicial Inspectorate overseas the conditions in prisons and is available to prisoners who wish to lay complaints or make requests.

The Inspectorate ensures that the prison provides appropriate facilities for disabled inmates.

Listen to the conversation below:


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