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Data on children in prison. Prepared by Prof J Sloth Nielsen for The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development. Statistical data from the last 5 years: sentenced children under 14 yrs. Year Age Offence ctgry sentence 2000 7 n/a n/a 2002 7 n/a n/a.

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data on children in prison

Data on children in prison

Prepared by Prof J Sloth Nielsen

for

The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development

statistical data from the last 5 years sentenced children under 14 yrs
Statistical data from the last 5 years: sentenced children under 14 yrs

Year Age Offence ctgry sentence

2000 7 n/a n/a

2002 7 n/a n/a

statistical data from the last 5 years sentenced children under 14 yrs3
Statistical data from the last 5 years: sentenced children under 14 yrs

Year Age Offence ctgry sentence

1998 8 N/A n/a

2001 8 Economic (housebreaking 6-12 months

theft, parole break)

statistical data from the last 5 years sentenced children under 14 yrs4
Statistical data from the last 5 years: sentenced children under 14 yrs

Year Age Offence ctgry sentence

2001 9 aggressive (malicious 0-6 mths

damage to property)

statistical data from the last 5 years sentenced children under 14 yrs5
Statistical data from the last 5 years: sentenced children under 14 yrs

Year Age Offence ctgry sentence

1999 10 n/a n/a

2000 10 n/a n/a

2000 10 economic 0-6 mths

(housebreaking)

2001 10 n/a n/a

statistical data from the last 5 years sentenced children under 14 yrs6
Statistical data from the last 5 years: sentenced children under 14 yrs

Year Age=11 Offence ctgry/ sentence

1998 5 children n/a

1999 0

2000 1 child n/a

2001 1 n/a

2002 0

NB: two girls, one in 1998 (Northern Cape) and one in 2001(Limpopo)

summary sentenced children under 12 years 1998 2003
Summary : sentenced children under 12 years 1998-2003

Age No in five years

7 2

8 2

9 1

10 4

11 7

Total 16

comparison awaiting trial children under 12 in prisons 1998 2003
Comparison: awaiting trial children under 12 in prisons 1998-2003

Age no of children Offence

7 1 n/a

8 4 n/a

9 2 H/breaking, n/a

10 13 12 n/a, 1 murder

11 16 12 n/a, malicious damage to property, 2 x h/breaking, 1 escape/attempted escape

total 36

statistical data from the last 5 years sentenced children under 14 yrs9
Statistical data from the last 5 years: sentenced children under 14 yrs

Year Age of 12 sentence

1998 2 children n/a

1999 6 children n/a for 5. 1 = 2-3 years, aggressive

2000 0

2001 7 n/a for 6. 1= 0-6 months for reckless/negligent driving

2002 3 n/a for 2. 1= 2-3 housebreaking

children aged 12 and under sentenced to prison 1998 2003
Children aged 12 and under sentenced to prison, 1998-2003

Total no of children aged 12 sentenced to prison, 1998-2003 : 18 children

Total no of children aged 7-11 sentenced to prison, 1998-2003: 16 children

children awaiting trial in prison 1998 2003
Children awaiting trial in prison 1998-2003

Total number of children aged 12 awaiting trial in prison 1998-2003:

89

(Free State = 15, Mpumalanga = 0)

Total number of children aged 7-11 awaiting trial in prison 1998-2003:

36

(Limpopo= 0. Mpumalanga= 0)

sentenced children aged 13 years 1998 2003
Sentenced children aged 13 years 1998-2003

Year no

1998 0

1999 8

2000 17

2001 4

2002 9

2003 2 TOTAL: 40

sentenced children aged 13 years 1998 200313
Sentenced children aged 13 years 1998-2003

Provincial figures for sentenced 13 year olds:

Eastern Cape: 7 KZN: 10

Western Cape: 3 Limpopo: 0

Northern Cape: 4 North West:1

Mpumalanga: 3 Free State: 5

Gauteng: 7

sentenced children aged 13 sentences and offences
Sentenced children aged 13: sentences and offences

14 sentence details available (out of 40 children)

Sentences: 0-6 months (4)

6-12 months (3)

2-3 yrs (5)

5-7 yrs (1)

10-15 years (1)

Total: 14

sentenced children aged 13 sentences and offences15
Sentenced children aged 13: sentences and offences

Offences (n=14, but some have multiple convictions)

Housebreaking: 7

Theft (w/o housebreaking charges): 1

Robbery: 2 (one sentenced to 0-6 months)

Public Violence: 1

Parole break/ Failure to attend court: 4

Assault gbh: 2

Sexual offences: 0

summary children under 14 years 1998 2003
Summary: children under 14 years, 1998-2003

Children sentenced Awaiting trial

Age

7,8,9 5 6

10 4 13

11 7 16

12 18 89

13 40 184

Total: 74 308

slide17
over 4 times more children under 14 years spend time in prison awaiting trial than serving a sentence
  • all pre-trial detention in prisons of these children aged under 14 years are currently unlawful, and constitute wrongful detention
  • the data provides strong evidence supporting raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility
  • the comparison between the figures of children awaiting trial and sentenced children shows that where convictions are recorded, alternative sentences to imprisonment are employed in the majority of cases
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