COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS

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Community Corrections: Oscar Pistorius

Paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to correctional supervision which will come into effect after his release from prison on 20 October 2015. According to the department of correctional services, there are two alternatives to imprisonment, namely correctional supervision and parole. They are called community corrections.

The purpose of community corrections is to rehabilitate, reform and assist offenders with reintegration into the community, and to control and supervise them.

How Correctional Supervision Works

  • The offender performs free service in the community for a set number of hours during his spare time.
  • This service must benefit the community and may be rendered at institutions such as hospitals, schools, old age homes and nature conservation projects.
  • Correctional officials control and supervise all probationers by strict monitoring. The degree of monitoring is determined by the offender’s possible risk to the community and is done by:
  • Telephone calls at home and at work.
  • Visits to the probationer’s home.
  • Visits to the workplace.
  • Compulsory consultation visits by the probationer to the Community Corrections Office.
  • Visits to the probationer at a place where he/she renders community service.
  • The offender has to adhere to court conditions. The purpose is to protect the community and to prevent relapse into crime.
  • It includes house arrest, which is that portion of the day/night when the probationer does not work and is compelled to be at home. The period of house arrest of individual probationers may differ.

Conditions

  • Probationers must have a job and a place of residence
  • They must be physically/financially cared for
  • They may not change work or place of residence without prior consent
  • Use/abuse of alcohol may also be strictly prohibited
  • Probationers must not commit any offence while serving the sentence of correctional supervision.
  • Attend specialised programmes or lectures on specific subjects with the purpose to:
  • Address specific identified needs or problem areas of individual cases with a view to preventing recurrence of the offence.
  • Foster responsibility.
  • Prevent drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Improve family responsibility and relationships.
  • Acquire social skills.

Community corrections is an internationally recognised practice.

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Source: Department of Correctional Services

http://www.dcs.gov.za/Services/CommunityCorrections.aspx