trends and phases of corrections in africa
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Trends and Phases of Corrections in Africa. By Maicibi , N. Alhas (Ph D) Research and Policy Development Advisor (UNAFRI ). Introduction. Current craze for change of the name of the service from Prison to Prison Service then to Correctional

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trends and phases of corrections in africa

Trends and Phases of Corrections in Africa


Maicibi, N. Alhas (Ph D)

Research and Policy Development Advisor (UNAFRI)

  • Current craze for change of the name of the service from Prison to Prison Service then to Correctional
  • The negative connotation and disdain of ‘prison’.
  • The meaning- ‘as a place for those physically confined and deprived of their rights’.
  • Perceptions: individuals and the public
introduction cont d
Introduction, cont’d
  • Yesterday Vs Today – African Corrections
  • Yesterday, offenders were managed without incarceration
  • Prisons-like places were mainly for holding purposes
  • They were for enhancing social harmony
  • It was compensation/ conciliation rather than punishment
  • Focus was on both offender and victims
  • Holding ‘imprisonment’ was the alternative to non custodial
  • **Today, focus is mainly on the offender
  • The non custodial are the alternatives**
africans vs europeans
Africans Vs Europeans
  • Why the practice of incarceration for the 2 groups?
  • For colonised/Africans, it was a holding facility for compensation; while wrongdoing was rectified to get restitution rather than punishment
  • For colonialists/Europeans, it was to control and subdue potential rebellious natives; not for rehabilitation but for economic, political, religious and social subjugation, and means to justify cheap labour.
phases of correctional
Phases of Correctional
  • Decarceration: no prisons, correcting within community
  • Incarceration: Prisons were a holding, restraining facility-knife Logic
  • Prisons became a punishment facility-Knife Logic
  • Prisons are now perceived as correctional facility-Needle Logic

*** All to make communities safer***

vision and mission of corrections
Vision and Mission of Corrections
  • * Vision
  • A correctional service for achieving a crime free Society
  • A Correctional Service of excellence in Africa & beyond
  • As the best provider of custodial and correctional practices
  • As the strongest agent of community protection
  • As the enabler of humane and secure society thru crime prevention
  • **As the nucleus of professional corrections in Africa and a front runner in the world. **
  • To promote human rights of prisons, and the public through provision of safe and humane custody
  • To contain offenders in human and safe conditions in order to facilitate responsible administration of justice
  • To promote criminal justice institutions’ reforms for a secure society
mission cont d
Mission, cont’d
  • To enable community safety and security through mitigation of the role of offenders
  • To effectively and efficiently provide and maintain a humane custodial and correctional services to inmates.
  • **To pave way for best correctional practice in Africa and beyond.**
orientations of the service s management
Orientations of the Service’s Management
  • Current orientation

The Reactive Orientation

Most international instruments only address the two below:

  • Concentration on the inmates:

Numbers, Rights, Feeding, Welfare

  • Concentration on the infrastructure
    • Facilities, building, amenities
    • Early releases: Parole, probation , pardon, etc

####This is reactive#####

expected orientation the proactive as a multi actor orientation
Expected Orientation: TheProactive as a multi-actor orientation
  • Concentration on the staff also
    • Welfare
    • Motivation
    • Participation
    • Image boosting
  • Attitudinal change-staff, inmates, public
correcting outside the facility
Correcting outside the facility
  • Extension of the concept of Community Corrections to include Community mobilization as a multi-actor orientation approach: Judiciary, Parliament, Executive

-Concentration on how to reduce prison congestion through preemptive prevention

-Using the Not There Alternatives (NTA)

correcting outside cont d
Correcting outside, cont’d
  • ** Some NTAs: **
  • Encouraging diversionary measures
  • Encouraging the African ‘restorative justice’ system
  • Encouraging out of court settlement
  • Encouraging community service
  • Be more open to public
sensitization of magistrates and communities on
Sensitization of Magistrates and communities on

Community service sentencing option;

fines, acquittals, bails, parole and probation

Creation of mini courts in prisons

Allow inmates engage in political and civic activities

crime prevention a proactivity
Crime Prevention: A Proactivity
  • Working closely with agencies of crime prevention e.g UNAFRI, UNODC etc
  • Working hard in the community to prevent re-offending/recidivism
  • Constructive engagement of the parliament for review of laws
  • * Borrow Maicibi’s generic formula for fighting crime**
Correctional Refinery

Crime Prevention Steam





Out of court


Community Service

  • Acquittals



Parole and probation

Courts (Judiciary)


maicibi generic formula for fighting crime
Maicibi generic formula for fighting Crime

B < C


B => Benefits

Mb - Monetary & economic benefits to the criminal

Pb – Psychological & physiological benefits to the criminal

Sb- Sociological benefits to the criminal

Ec- Ease & level of success in committing the crime

C => Costs

Mt –Monetary & time to commit the crime

Fa – Fear & probability of being apprehended & arrested

Pc – Probability of conviction & its harshness

Lo – Lost opportunities & stigmatization

Key: B Vs C

B > C : Mb+Pb+Sb+ Ec > Mt+Fa+Pc+Lo means that benefits outweigh the costs.


B>Chas a slim chance of deterring crave to commit crime


**Target and strategy should be to increase the Cs and decrease the Bs.

prisons facility tree
Prisons Facility Tree

Inability for proper containment



Army of remand inmates

Jail violence/riots

Inadequate programming

Poor service delivery


Court decisional delays

Recognition and Funding


The burden of prove

Neglect of restorative justice

Closed prisons’ system

Poor access to legal Aid



  • Thank you for being a wonderful audience
  • MaicibiAlhas(Ph D.)