"Doing time for crime": The historical development of the different models (approaches) of treatment for incarcerated offenders at the Westville Correctional Centre, Durban, South Africa.
Singh, Shanta B
MetadataShow full item record
The increase in the number of correctional facilities as institutes for punishing convicted offenders was a purposeful and gradual process which developed over many centuries, from basic beginnings in the early sixteenth century to contemporary approaches in the 21st Century. Over the centuries a range of models or approaches to the treatment of criminals were attempted. New buildings emerged with different designs in order to keep offenders away from society. New approaches were tried, but the situation in penal institutions worsened in terms of the conditions due to overcrowding. Merton in Cilliers states that, “we shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us2.”In keeping with Merton’s words that buildings shape us to fit in with the specific design, South African correctional facilities were designed and built according to international standards to accommodate criminals, and in order to ‘satisfy’ the objectives of punishment, namely, retribution, rehabilitation, deterrence and protection of society. In this article the aim is to discuss the progression of the treatment approaches (models) over the centuries and during different periods of incarceration will be analysed with specific reference to the Westville Correctional Facility which is located in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. A historical perusal into the development of treatment ideals for inmates “doing time for crime” will be discussed, both from an international perspective to the South African context in the 21st century due to the fact that South Africa has drawn from the American and European systems of incarceration. The method in which these models/ approaches to treatment of inmates have been implemented by South African Correctional facilities is explored .This paper will contribute to the study on the treatment of incarcerated inmates within correctional facilities in South African prisons especially in light of an enormous gap between correctional policy and practice which needs to be addressed by the National Department of Correctional Services.