DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES
NATIONAL GUIDELINES CORRECTIONAL SERVICES
- The Department of Correctional Services is by legislation authorised to
implement a sentence of a court in the best interests of the judiciary, the
offender and the community at large.
- All prisoners in the sentence category longer than 12 months' imprisonment
must attend a parole board meeting, but special attention and sensitivity
to the victim and the community in general is needed when dealing with rapists
and sexual assault offenders.
2. Guidelines for institution committees when dealing
with sexual offenders
- The Institution Committee must identify these prisoners at their first meeting
and report them to the multi-disciplinary team, which consists of a psychologist,
social worker, religious worker etc.
- The presiding officer's remarks or recommendations must also be brought
to the attention of the multi-professional team, as well as the Parole Board's
- In all cases where the presiding officer submits a form J24, with his or
her remarks/recommendations, copies of the J24 must be filed in the prisoner's
institution file, a copy handed to the multi-professional team and to the
- In all cases where the prisoner was sentenced to 5 years and longer, a copy
of the judge's remarks upon sentencing must be obtained from the registrar
of the trial court for the Parole Board and multi-professional team.
- Intervention by the multi-professional team with sexual offenders must be
given priority, particularly those offenders who have committed offences against
With regard to the availability of programmes for sexual offenders, the relevant
development programmes and/or treatment programmes for all prisoners convicted
of crimes of sexual violence will be provided as human resources are made
Added prerequisites which must be included in some treatment programmes entail
that these offenders need to be motivated to change their behaviour and be
willing to take responsibility for their actions.
3. Guidelines for parole boards when dealing with sexual
- In cases of serious sexual assault for which a long term of imprisonment
was imposed, the Parole Board must approach the trial court on its views regarding
the possible placement on parole of such prisoner prior to making any recommendation.
- Two members from the community or any person who may provide meaningful
input regarding a specific case may be invited by the chairperson to attend
such a parole hearing.
- When each prisoner attains his/her minimum detention period, a report must
be submitted to the Minister/Commissioner by the Parole Board in terms of
Section 63 of the Correctional Services Act, Act 8 of 1959 with regard to
- physical and mental state; and
- the possibility of such prisoner relapsing into crime.
- When the minimum detention period has been served by a prisoner, the Parole
Board must make a recommendation to the Minister/Commissioner, regarding:
- the possible placement of such prisoner on correctional supervision; or
- day parole or parole.
- The Parole Board must recommend the conditions and the period under which
such prisoner should be released. In respect of sexual assault offenders,
if parole is granted, stricter conditions of parole and supervision must apply.
For instance, if the prisoner was convicted of an offence or offences that
involved sexual abuse of children, conditions must be set that this person
does not apply for work or volunteer for work where children are at risk.
- The Parole Board must take any written representation relevant to the case
of any person, including the victim's into consideration when placement on
parole is considered.
- When considering a prisoner's possible placement on parole, the Parole Board
must consider, amongst others, the following factors:
- previous convictions and frequency thereof;
- remarks/recommendations by the presiding judicial officer;
- nature and circumstances of the crime committed;
- support system in the community;
- the age and sex of the victim as well as the prisoner's age;
- the relationship between the prisoner and the victim;
- motive for the crime;
- the exploitation of a relationship of trust e.g., a trusted family member,
or school teacher, or friend;
- length of sentence;
- results of evaluations done by the multi-professional team;
- risk posed to the community;
- risk to the victim or the victim's immediate family;
- behaviour and adjustment in prison; and
- violation of previous conditions of supervision or parole or suspended
- In respect of all sexual assaults, the Parole Board must also take the following
additional factors into account:
- Physical injuries sustained by the victim, especially those which require
hospitalisation or prolonged intensive medical treatment.
- Emotional (psychological) harm suffered by the victim(s) such as when
a victim was forced to take part in a sexual act in front of family or friends,
lack of regard for the physical condition of the victim such as age, pregnancy,
physical or mental illness, or if the crime was committed in such a manner
that it may cause future harm to the mental condition of the victim.
- When more than one offender committed the sexual act, such as gang/group
- Whether weapons or any simulated weapon were used; and
- When the victim was forced to perform unnatural sexual acts, e.g., bestiality,
- A victim who indicates that he/she wishes to know when the prisoner will
be placed on parole or released, must give the investigating officer permission
to write his/her name, address and ID number on form SAP 62. It will remain
the victim's responsibility to keep the Commissioner, Department of Correctional
Services, Private Bag X136, Pretoria, 0001, informed of his/her latest address.
- The Commissioner will inform the relevant Parole Board of the victim's particulars.
- The Parole Board must inform the victim in writing of the pending parole
hearing, date of parole or release.
4. Conditional or unconditional release of sexual offenders
- The Head of the Prison must furnish a copy of form G373 of all offenders,
irrespective of the offence committed, whether conditionally or unconditionally
released, to the South African Criminal Record Centre.
- The Head of Community Corrections must send the sentence details, date of
placement, residential and work address and the date of sentence expiry, per
letter, to the South African Police Service nearest to the probationer's/parolee's
area of residence, for information.
- Prisoners released on parole remain under supervision until they have completed
- A copy of form G373 must be furnished to the Department of National Welfare
in all cases where sexual offenders are placed on parole or released, for
their information and disposal.
Issued by the Department of Correctional Services
Private Bag X136, Pretoria, 0001