Mothers in prison: Commit the crime, do the time

accreditation
Share your Subscriber Article
You have 5 articles to share every month. Send this story to a friend!
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Mothers in prison: A Parent24 series
Mothers in prison: A Parent24 series

Being pregnant or responsible for children might be considered a mitigating factor when it comes to sentencing, but it does not mean a woman will be let off for her crime. 

Nonetheless, the fact that they are mothers does need to be taken into account.  

According to a retired Western Cape magistrate, who spoke to Parent24 on condition of anonymity, prosecutors and magistrates do not receive training on sentencing pregnant women or mothers of young children.

They are expected to use their experience and are guided by case law, or in other words, the outcomes of previous cases. When deciding a case, magistrates consider the legal decisions made in similar cases in the past, and apply their discretion to decide the best sentence in the situation before the court. 

Support independent journalism
Subscribe to News24 for just R75 per month to read all our investigative and in-depth journalism.
Subscribe
Already a subscriber? Sign in