No special treatment for disabled inmates

2013-02-20 08:48
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Pretoria - The Correctional Services Act makes no provision for the special treatment of disabled prisoners, it was reported on Wednesday.

The only specification is that all prisoners should be treated humanely, according to Beeld.

This comes as Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee, continues his bail application in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court. He was arrested for murder on Valentine's Day following the fatal shooting of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. In the first day of the bail application on Tuesday, Magistrate Desmond Nair ruled that Pistorius is facing a schedule six offence, which will make it more difficult for him to be granted bail, meaning he will be remanded in custody.

Willie Clack, a lecturer in correctional services management at Unisa, said on Tuesday that the act made provision only for sentenced and unsentenced prisoners; men and women; and children and adults to be held separately.

The only part of the act that specifically dealt with the disabled was if a person with prosthetic limbs was admitted to a correctional centre. In such instances, a medical staff member had to report and the prosthetics can only be removed on the instructions of a doctor.

Clack worked for many years at the department of correctional services and says he knows of many disabled prisoners.

“There was one prisoner who had no legs and walked around on his hands. In some way or another they get along,” said Clack.

Correctional services officers said there were disabled people in jail and they were treated like all other prisoners, except they slept in the hospital.

There are currently no statistics on the number of inmates with disabilities, Beeld reported.

- Visit News24's Pistorius Special Report.

Read more on:    oscar pistorius  |  prisons

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