BRIEFING BY THE JUSTICE CRIME PREVENTION AND SECURITY(JCPS) CLUSTER DEPARTMENTS TO THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE FOR CORRECTIONAL SERVICES ON REMAND DETAINEES 03 November 2010
AGENDA Introduction Reasons for delays (Investigations, Court Proceedings) Impact of delays Length of detention ATD Population ATDs with and without Bail Remand Detention Facilities Remedial Actions Conclusion
Impact of (and reasons for) delays in investigations and court proceedings
ATD Population in DCS • Stabilised situation noticeable • Seasonal trends show an increase over the festive period
CHALLENGES • A previous lack of strategic alignment of JCPS Departments before the CJS Review and Implementation of the 7 Point Plan • Capacity provision and alignment thereof across the CJS • Equipping and staffing SAPS forensic services • The shortage of detectives was identified as a critical reason in the finalisation of investigations • Backlog in detective training and experience levels • The necessary focus on major international events in South Africa unfortunately detract from normal investigations • Vacancies in NPA, shortage of judicial officers, interpreters, social workers, probation officials, forensic analysts as well as lack of adequate capacity of Legal Aid South Africa • Private Attorneys overbooking and requesting postponements • Cooperation by witnesses during the investigation and trial phases
Factors that play a role in the length of detention • Multiple number of co-accused in one case or accused linked to other crimes that are under investigation as well as requests for separation of trials • Failure of witnesses to appear in court, leading to the case being remanded for several times • Requests for remand by defense lawyers and the state • Failure of accused to appear in court • Withdrawal or changing of legal representation • Delay in securing a date at the high court • Multiple witnesses in the case • Loss of court records 8
INTERVENTIONS ADDRESSING RD POPULATION Interventions to decrease (and that helped to stabilise) the RD prison population include the following: Implementation of the 7 Point Plan, following the CJS Review with focus areas across the whole CJS A specific focus on reducing case backlogs and especially very long outstanding cases through backlog courts, with an initial focus on Regional Courts, but now extended also to District Courts. (Special interventions focused on finalising cases where RDs are detained for longer than 2 years. ) Improved investigation capacity and capability through the appointment of more detectives and improved training and skilling Improved throughput through dedicated courts, for example Serious Commercial Crime Courts Case Flow Management (CFM) Coordinating mechanisms which includes the establishment of CFM local and provincial coordinating structures and CFM directives and guidelines from NPA and the Judiciary Implementation of the Bail Protocol (Section 63A and Section 63(1))
INTERVENTIONS ADDRESSING RD POPULATION Other interventions to decrease the RD prison population: Court readiness of dockets and cases is now part of the SAPS Strategic and Annual Performance Plan and JCPS Delivery Agreement SAPS intervention: detective court case officers (DCCO) Pre-trial offenders assessments with regard to the possibility of bail by SAPS Forensic Services Protocol NPA to expedite and ensure the trial readiness of matters through for example the Screening Protocol Improved court throughput through new Case Flow Management Guidelines, Legal Aid Protocol and Regional Court President’s proposed Court Protocol Initiatives by the Chief Justice in terms of reducing backlogs and delays in matters with the institutionalisation of monthly meetings between the JCPS DGs and the Judiciary Provision of additional CJS capacity (Forensic, Detectives, Prosecutors, Magistrates, Legal Aid representatives) The development of strategic policy frameworks regarding Restorative Justice and Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (ADRM) (Diversions, informal mediations) and the implementation thereof countrywide. This is a specific alternative to incarceration. Increasing the use of Admission of Guilt by SAPS and Prosecutors. More efficient processes to monitor and deal with children in conflict with the law (Inter-sectoral Committee for Child Justice (ISCCJ))
STEPS IMPLEMENTED TO REDUCE THE DELAYS IN THE INVESTIGATION OF CASES THAT WERE REFERRED TO COURT • SAPS not only committed to but in fact already started to increase the number of detectives by 19.6 percent and grew by more than 22 percent. In addition, 2 153 new recruits that will bolster detective capacity are currently undergoing basic training. In addition, the number of visible policing members increased and police presence has led to a decrease in crime in general. • The NPA increased the number of prosecutors by 83. Legal Aid South Africa increased their posts by 93. More Judges and Magistrates were appointed to bring relief to pressure points. • Forensic Services, where significant exposures were identified, received specific focus with increased capacity and additional funding allocated. • Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) were also re – introduced to ensure effective and speedy investigation of these cases. In this regards 176 Units (FCS) were established at Cluster level in all nine (9) Provinces)
STEPS IMPLEMENTED TO REDUCE THE DELAYS IN THE INVESTIGATION OF CASES THAT WERE REFERRED TO COURT Investigations: The Division: Detective Service in the implemented of a specific Strategic Plan now focuses on conducting inspections to ensure the quality of investigations and the speedy finalization of the investigations of court cases. Quarterly audits of cases that are outstanding on court rolls for long periods are conducted to identify stations to be inspected. Targeted interventions are then conducted at the identified stations to ensure that the investigation of outstanding court cases are speedily finalized. During inspections one-on-one in-service training are provided to Detective Commanders and Investigating Officers and guidance are given on the finalization of the investigation of court cases.
STEPS IMPLEMENTED TO REDUCE THE DELAYS IN THE INVESTIGATION OF CASES THAT WERE REFERRED TO COURT Training: The training of Detectives were prioritized by the SAPS Human Resource Development Division (HRD) Mentorship programme introduced – inexperienced Detectives are placed with experienced Detectives to guide and mentor. Performance: In order to ensure that court cases are prioritized for finalization a new performance measurement indicator for the Detective Service was implemented, namely “Court Ready Cases”. This performance measurement indicator will ensure that Detectives speedily finalise the investigation of court cases, because their performance are being assessed on this performance indicator. Integrated coordination between prosecutors and detectives has been established with Detective Court Case Officers and this has led to improved performance.
STEPS IMPLEMENTED TO REDUCE THE DELAYS IN THE INVESTIGATION OF CASES THAT WERE REFERRED TO COURT Record of Previous convictions (SAPS69) A performance measurements tool was implemented to improve on the turnaround time on producing the record of previous convictions. Fingerprints to be forwarded to Criminal Record Centres for processing within 72 hours after being obtained (must be captured on computer system). Record of previous convictions produced within 30 days (date of receipt by Investigating Officer captured on computer system). Station Commanders and Commanders of Criminal record Centres are held responsible when targets are not achieved.
Impact of (and reasons for) unaffordable bail on the awaiting trial population
BAIL • Discretion of granting bail is in the hands of the independent presiding official, but this is influenced by a variety of factors such as the flight risk of an alleged offender, the socio-economic circumstances, affordability. • Non application of the 2-Stage Bail Process by presiding officers. • The role of the prosecutor and the police is to place all the factors before the court to make a decision. Greater emphasis thus through NPA directives and Police training. • To combat the situation of people sitting in Correctional Facilities with unaffordable bail the use of applicable provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act has been promoted with positive results. See next slide.
Strategies Implemented to release RDs with Bail detained in DCS facilities 17
ATDs and Length of Detention • Though the RD population reflects a decrease RDs detained for >24 months demonstrate a gradual increase in 2010. • Comparison between 31 August 2009 & 17 August 2010: • Red: denotes increase & Orange: denotes reduction on RDs
REMAND DETENTION FACILITIES (RDFs) • The analysis for upgrading of RDFs was conducted in 3 RDFs and 2 female correctional centres in 2009/10 financial year (Pretoria Local, Pretoria Female CC, Johannesburg Medium A, Johannesburg Female CC and Potchefstroom). • The total cost for upgrading of all 11 facilities is R4 billion. Discussions were held with National Treasury (NT) in 2009/10 and NT advised that DCS should include the upgrading process in its facilities budget programme. As of 2010/11 upgrading has been included in the facilities budget programme and the upgrading of RDFs will be included in the regional plans for upgrading • There are 3 RDFs that have been prioritized for upgrading which are PTA Local, Johannesburg Medium A and Potchefstroom. Of the 3 RDFs, 2 (Joburg and PTA Local) are estimated to cost over R400m and will be subject to option analysis feasibility studies as required by National Treasury to determine if they will be procured through the PPP route or Design-and-Build or other. The 3rd RDF may be procured through the normal NDPW processes. • Project timelines are being negotiated with NDPW.
CONCLUSION • It can be categorically stated that the JCPS Cluster is committed to ensuring that all people in South Africa are and feel safe. As part and parcel hereof the Cluster is focusing on ensuring an efficient CJS and addressing delays in investigations and court proceedings. • The Cluster is also focusing on ensuring that the Remand Detention population is kept as low as possible, notwithstanding the fact that many offenders for serious crimes are dealt with through the courts. • Cabinet has this week approved a White Paper on Remand Detention together with amendments to the Correctional Services Legislation and this will in the long term have a positive impact in reducing the number of RDs and the length of incarceration pending the finalisation of matters. • The JCPS Cluster Departments representatives however wish to stress that there is a constitutional obligation to ensure the safety of the community on the one hand, balanced against the rights of remand detainees.