Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Correctional Services on Budget Vote 21 - Correctional Services, dated 22 June 2004:

The Committee has examined the Budget Vote of the Department of Correctional Services (Vote 21) of the 2004/5 financial year and the forward estimates for 2005/6 and 2006/7 included on the Estimates of National Expenditure 2004, as well as the Departmentís Strategic Plan 2004/5 Ė 2006/7, and reports as follows:

The main features of the 2004/5 budget are:

The Department of Correctional Services will receive R8, 407 billion for the 2004/05 financial year. This amounts to 2.28% of the total budget. Last year (2003/04) it received R7, 499 billion which amounted to 2.26% of the total budget. Its percentage allocation of the budget has thus remained stable.

The Department of Correctional Services received 14.43% of the total allocation for The Justice and Protection Services cluster, which includes the departments of Correctional Services, Defence, Justice and Constitutional Development, Safety and Security and the Independent Complaints Directorate. It received almost 14% of the total Justice and Protection Services cluster allocation in 2003/04 and thus has remained stable in terms of its percentage of this cluster allocation.

Structure of the Vote

The structure of the Vote has been revised into 7 programmes in line with the Department of Correctional Serviceís new strategic focus. Further amendments are envisaged in line with the long-term strategy of the Department, which is outlined in the Draft White Paper. The 2004 Vote, with measurable objectives, is divided as follows:

Administration:
Security: Prevent incarcerated persons from participating in criminal activities and escapes, by providing an environment that ensures the safety of all persons under the departmentís care and of the public.
Corrections: Address the specific rehabilitation needs of all sentenced persons through regular assessment and the provision of needs-based correctional programmes that contribute to a reduction in the recidivism (re-offending) rate.
Care: Ensure the personal well - being of incarcerated persons by providing various needs-based services, in order to align with internationally accepted conventions.
Development: Develop employable and productive citizens, through providing incarcerated offenders with needs-based educational and other opportunities so that they can easily reintegrate back into communities.
After-Care: Facilitate the social acceptance and effective reintegration of offenders, to assist them to adhere to all applicable correctional and parole supervision conditions.
Facilities: Support the Department in its core functions of security and corrections, by providing well-maintained physical infrastructure according to internationally accepted standards.

Expenditure Trends

 

2003/04
(Rí000)

2004/05
(Rí000)

2005/06
(Rí000)

2006/07
(Rí000)

Vote 21

7 499 623

8 407 789

9 034 541

9 627 375

Nominal percentage increase

 

12%

7.5%

6.5%


The budget increases by 12% for the 2004/05 financial year.

Compensation of employees decreases over the MTEF from 75.6% of the Vote in 2000/01 to 64.2% of the Vote in 2006/07. This is largely due to increased spending on capital assets including land and buildings in order to build more prisons and maintain existing prisons to house the increasing prisoner population.


Real increases in the Correctional Services Budget.

While the Correctional Services Budget Vote has increased by 12% from 2003/04, its real increase is actually 6.36%. The real increase takes into account inflation.

 

2003/04
(Rí000)

2004/05
(Rí000)

Vote 21

7 499 623

8 407 789

Nominal percentage increase

 

12%

Real percentage increase

 

6.36%


Programme 2: Security and Programme 4: Care actually received less money then they had last year in terms of the relative buying power of this allocation.

Programme

2003/04
(Rí000)

2004/05
(Rí000)

Nominal increase

Real increase

Administration

2 483 781

2 707 337

10.7%

3.41%

Security

2 603 339

2 707 660

5.6%

- 1.32%

Corrections

433 150

503 256

16.2%

10.23%

Care

751 685

765 685

7.2%

- 3.36%

Development

322 025

407 889

26.7%

20.17%

After-Care

288 975

318 729

15%

4.65%

Facilities

1 250 257

1 622 151

19.2%

23.09%



Key challenges impacting on the budget

Implementation of the White Paper

The Committee identified the following key challenges:

A key priority over the MTEF is the development of a final White Paper and implementation of services according to the identified principles of the White Paper. The draft White Paper places rehabilitation at the centre of all departmental activities and has important implications both in terms of services and personnel. It also recognises corrections as a societal responsibility and not solely the responsibility of the Department of Correctional Services. It is important for the Department to convince Treasury of the need to modify MTEF projections in order to realise the vision contained in the White Paper. Costing of the final White Paper is a priority and is expected to be finalized by August of this year. The White Paper will be implemented incrementally and piloted during the 2004/5 financial year in 36 ĎCentres of Excellenceí around the country.

Measures taken in terms of rehabilitation include:

The ĎGearing DCS for Rehabilitationí project, which affects all aspects of service delivery and requires the development of new policy regarding programmes and the recruitment and training of personnel.
Adoption of the unit management approach which encourages the management of offenders rather than prisons.
Introduction of restorative justice principles.

The preparation of correctional centres for rehabilitation is a key objective for the medium term. In terms of societal responsibility, the Department promotes partnerships with communities though imbizos.

Remission and Parole Boards

The parole boards will make decisions regarding the conditional and unconditional release of prisoners and will include stakeholder participation in these decisions. Establishment of the 52 boards will occur in this financial year. R30 million has been allocated for the establishment of the boards for 2004/05.

Overcrowding

As reflected in previous years, the central problem facing the Department is the growing population of prisoners. Approximately 187 000 prisoners, of which approximately 55 000 are unsentenced, are occupying prison space designed to hold 113 500 prisoners. This has a negative effect on the ability of the Department to rehabilitate prisoners.

As at the time of the briefing there were 2 232 unsentenced children under the age of 18 in the prisons and 6 children under 14 years of age. There are approximately 1 926 sentenced children under the age of 18 years in prison and 9 children under 14 years of age.
The development of a framework against overcrowding has been identified as a medium - term objective. Steps taken to address the problem of overcrowding include:

The building and staffing of new cost - effective prisons. Four new generation prisons will be built in the medium term.
Finalisation of prison procurement models.
Cooperation with departments in the Integrated Justice System (IJS), to reduce prison numbers. Last year, for the first time, the awaiting - trial detainee population was reduced.
Promotion of alternative sentencing options and diversion programmes.
Intersectoral monitoring of the criminal justice system to identify and eliminate blockages.
Advancing the parole date of sentenced prisoners.


Per capita cost per prisoner

For the 2004/05 financial year it will cost R113.99 to keep a prisoner incarcerated per day.

Personnel shortages

Personnel is one of the largest cost drivers within the budget. The need for personnel increases directly in relation to the size of the prison population. There are financed posts for 35 699 employees of which approximately 32 500 are currently filled. In order to fulfill the requirements of the White Paper almost
49 000 employees are required. This year, approximately 1 200 new recruits will undergo basic training in June/July. Some of the other critical posts will also be filled. However, the shortage of 13 000 posts will be filled in the longer term due to the phased approach in which the White Paper will be implemented.

Expenditure on employees will be R5.3 billion for the 2004/05 financial year and 63.9% of the budget over the MTEF. The DCS faces critical shortages in terms of key professionals such as psychologists and pharmacists.

The breakdown of employees is as follows:

 

African

Coloured

Indian

White

Males

15 040

4 132

477

6 342

Females

4 441

1 025

123

1 252

 

Filled posts

Vacant

Senior management

125

57

Middle and Junior Management

1 903

355

Correctional Officers

28 629

1 743

Professional Staff

2 071

1 147


Employees with disabilities: There are 86 males and 39 females with disabilities.

Good Governance

A key medium - term objective is to create a culture of good governance to combat corruption and maladministration. The Jali Commission is one of the role-players responsible for investigating corruption and maladministration in prisons as well as the Special Investigating Unit of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. The Department of Correctional Services established an internal investigative unit in 2003/04. The development of a framework against corruption, as well as mechanisms to ensure compliance with existing policies, have been identified as medium - term objectives.

Options to Treasury

The DCS submitted a number of options to Treasury for the 2004/05 budget. These included requests for additional funds for restructuring, costs for the four new prisons, additional funds for the projected prisoner population and for the implementation of the parole boards. Of a total of R2.8 billion requested, the DCS received funding only for the projected prisoner population and for the parole boards, totalling an additional R80 million.


Programme Allocations

Programme 1: Administration

 

2003/04
(Rí000)

2004/05
(Rí000)

Programme 1: Administration

2 446 581

2 707 337

Nominal percentage increase

 

10.7%


Administration accounts for 32% of the total Vote. The allocation for Administration increases by 10.7% for 2004/05 in comparison to 2003/04. Most of this allocation is spent on compensating employees. Other items covered in the programme include medical aid, bulk stores, IT, human resource development and motor vehicles.

The issue of overtime continues to hamper the effective functioning of the Department of Correctional Services. The DCS was allocated R700 million for overtime for the 2003/04 financial year and exceeded this allocation by R190 million by spending a total of R890 million on overtime last financial year. The DCS has noted abuse in the use of overtime by staff who prefer to work on the weekends as they receive overtime pay rather than reporting to work during the week.

The alternative is to change to a 7-day establishment, which will entail the provision of four shifts, rather then the three shifts that exist currently. Saturday will then be defined as a normal working day. Sundays will be remunerated at a day and a half pay. Thus some form of overtime will still exist.


Programme 2: Security

 

2003/04
(Rí000)

2004/05
(Rí000)

Programme 2: Security

2 563 339

2 707 660

Nominal percentage increase

 

5.6%


Just over 32% of the total budget is allocated toward Security. The budget increases by 5.6% this year, mainly to hire additional staff needed for an increasing prisoner population.

Key developments:

The Department is upgrading its use of security equipment to protect inmates, staff and prisoners. In addition, a security conscious culture is being developed among staff. Managers monitor and ensure adherence to security requirements and disciplinary steps are taken against staff that are negligent in this regard.
An inmate tracking system to identify and track persons in prison more effectively has been piloted at Durban Westville Correctional Centre and will also be used in the Johannesburg Medium A prison shortly.
From January 2003 to October 2003 there were 128 escapes from prisons, a 34.3% reduction compared to the corresponding period in 2002.


Programme 3: Corrections

 

2003/04
(Rí000)

2004/05
(Rí000)

Programme 3: Corrections

433 150

503 256

Nominal percentage increase

 

16.2%


This programme consumes 6% of the total Vote. Allocation for Corrections increases by 16% for the 2004/05 financial year mainly due to the start-up funding requirement for the establishment of the parole and remission boards that will come into operation this year. There are 53 536 offenders undergoing community corrections. Of these, 20 673 are probationers and 32 883 are on parole.

The Department is in the process of developing needs-based correctional programmes, which will address the needs of each individual offender. Guidelines and policies on risk assessments for offenders will also be developed.

Programme 4: Care

 

2003/04
(Rí000)

2004/05
(Rí000)

Programme 4: Care

714 485

765 685

Nominal percentage increase

 

7.2%


This programme consumes 9% of the total Vote. Spending on Care will increase by 7.2% in 1994/05. Increases in spending over the medium term can be attributed to the following:

Commitment to the treatment of HIV/AIDS.
The financing of health services previously provided by the provincial health departments.
The introduction of three meals per day for prisoners.

Key developments:

Service level agreements regarding access to public health services have been signed in Gauteng and the Western Cape and will be signed with all other provinces in this financial year.
The Department will be involved in the roll out of governmentís antiretroviral implementation plan to HIV prisoners in the medium Ė term.
The shortage of psychologists has meant that a decreasing number of prisoners are receiving psychological care.


Programme 5: Development

 

2003/04
(Rí000)

2004/05
(Rí000)

Programme 5: Development

322 025

407 889

Nominal percentage increase

 

26.7%


Almost 5% of the Vote is allocated to Development. The allocation for Development increased by just over 26% for 2004/05. This will be used to provide material for farms and workshops where skills are developed and for the expansion of existing skill development activities such as education, training, sport, recreation, arts and culture, which will require additional personnel. Spending is expected to increase on this programme by 13.8% over the medium term mainly due to the shift in departmental focus to rehabilitation as a core function.

Key developments:

In 2003, a total of 13 100 prisoners were enrolled in Adult Based Education and Training (ABET) programmes, an increase of 16,3% from the previous year.
A number of partnerships with external service providers took place to provide formal education and skills development. These included ABET practitioner training, training as reading, communication and life skills instructors and occupational skills training.

Programme 6: After-Care

 

2003/04
(Rí000)

2004/05
(Rí000)

Programme 6: After-Care

276 975

318 729

Nominal percentage increase

 

15%


Less than 4% of the Vote is allocated to this programme. The allocation for After-Care increases by 15% this year. It is expected that spending on this Vote will increase in the medium term due mainly to the expected wider application of community corrections sentencing options by the courts and the implementation of remission and parole boards.

Key developments:

The Department is drafting an after-care policy, which will be implemented in 2005/06.
There are currently 175 functional community correction offices and 21 sub-offices countrywide. Plans are under way to improve the accessibility of these offices and implementation should be completed by 2005/06.
A revised classification system for offenders subject to community corrections should be phased in from 2004/05.
Traced absconds increased from 40.5% in 2001/02 to 68.2% in 2002/03.
Material and financial assistance was provided to 28 143 needy prisoners in 2002/03.

Programme 7: Facilities

 

2003/04
(Rí000)

2004/05
(Rí000)

Programme 7: Facilities

1 360 257

1 622 151

Nominal percentage increase

 

19.2%


Spending on this programme comprises almost 20% of the Vote. The programme includes provision for payments for the 2 (PPP) prisons in Bloemfontein and Makhado. Spending on the sub programme, which deals with procurement and maintenance of prisons, will increase most substantially over the MTEF in order to provide additional prison bed space to alleviate overcrowding.

Key developments:

In line with unit management, a new approach to prison design was finalised in 2003. It entails smaller prisoner housing units clustered together and the use of multi-skilled staff involved in rehabilitation programmes.
Four new prisons will be built in 2005/06 using either PPP or conventional public works procurement. This will provide an additional 12 000 bed spaces.
A new head office will be built in 2005/06 to replace the current rented facility.

Recommendations:

Security and Administration Programmes


The allocation of the security programme must be reviewed to make Correctional Facilities more secure to reduce escapes thus employing more staff.

Corrections Programme

The Committee is in agreement with the current allocations. However, the allocation to this programme will need to be increased in subsequent financial years if the Department of Correctional Services is to succeed in its stated goal of developing needs-based correctional programmes for each individual offender. Likewise, a re-orientation towards greater and more effective use of correctional supervision will require more funds.

Care Programme

The allocation of the care programme, though insufficient must be reviewed based on the challenges faced by this programme.

Development Programme

The Committee supports this allocation.

After Care Programme

The allocation needs to be increased to ensure that the reintegration of offenders into society is successful.

Facilities Programme

The Committee supports this allocation.

Comments

The Committee is pleased to report continued progress in the management and development of corrections in South Africa and aims to ensure that the Department strives in its vision " To be one of the best in the world in delivering correctional services with integrity and commitment to excellence".

The key elements of the Departmental mission are to place rehabilitation at the centre of all activities, to focus on correcting behaviour, promoting social responsibility, development of offenders, to ensure cost - effectiveness and progressive and ethical staff practices. The Committee intends to closely monitor these objectives to ensure that the Department carries out its mandate as embodied on them in the Constitution.