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Directions to Combat COVID-19 in Correctional Centres Published

June 24, 2020

Department of Correctional Services

Directions to address, prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19 in all correctional centres and remand detention facilities have been published.

The correctional services department published the Directions in Government Gazette 43463.

They were drawn up in terms of Disaster Management Act Regulations.

The Directions apply for the duration of the national state of disaster.

They focus on safety and general measures for duration of national state of disaster; restrictions regarding placement, movement and release of inmates, parolees and probationers during Alert Levels 3, 4 and 5; amenities, consultations and visits during Alert Levels 3, 4 and 5 and remand detainees.

Safety and general measures include that where any provision includes cross provincial or district application, the highest declared alert level between the relevant provinces or districts apply; all inmates entering correctional facilities must be screened, quarantined for 14 days and regularly assessed prior to placement within general inmate population; all inmates to be screened in terms of established protocols during incarceration, consultation with health care professionals and upon release, placement or movement and social distancing measures to apply.

Other provisions include that day parole for sentenced offenders is suspended; referral of inmates to external health facilities is limited to medical emergencies; community services rendered by parolees and probationers suspended; consultation visits between legal practitioners and inmates suspended, but telephonic contact allowed where possible; referral of remand detainees to court for consideration of length of detention to continue and bail payments can be made at court facilities.

The Directions came into effect on the date of publication.