Penal Reform Programme

The Penal Reform Programme, based in Cape Town, was established in July 2014 amid concerns for the protection of the rights of prisoners and detainees and constitutional compliance in relation to the imposition of punishment, sentencing, independent oversight and conditions of detention. Particular areas of interest include prison overcrowding, independent oversight and sentencing reform.

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Cases and Judgements

There are currently no cases or judgements.


21 January 2016
(Press release)
21 January 2016
(Press release)
26 November 2015


The 2013 annual report highlights some of LHR's most noteworthy cases and interventions.

This report is an update to the situational analysis of children in prison in South Africa prepared by the Community Law Centre in 1997.

The probability that law enforcement officials will be held accountable for gross rights violations is very low. The reasons for this are discussed in this report. The report argues that there is no single reason for the current situation but rather that a myriad of factors, structural and functional, contribute to a greater or a lesser degree to the current situation.

This research report provides an overview of the necessary research to develop possible solutions for limiting the amount of time remand detainees spend in custody.


The problems faced by awaiting trial detaines
Independent prison visitor speaks at the Wits Justice Project's "It Could Be You"...