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FAQ

1. Do you have any posts/ internships available at the moment?
At the moment we have no posts available, however, we do advertise from time to time in the main Sunday newspapers and on our website, so be sure to scan these regularly. There is a fraudulent advertisement regarding internships in our Department that is doing the rounds. Please be advised that there is no such advertisement and we do not have any positions for interns at this stage.

2. I would like to know if an inmate is terminally ill, how does the department deal with it and when can they be released to their families to care for them themselves?
The Department knows about the status of an inmate’s illness from the medical doctor’s diagnosis. Inmates are referred to outside hospitals for health care services that the Department are unable to offer. Outside hospitals do not always keep terminally ill inmates and they also refer them back to Correctional Services. The Department initiates medical parole for terminally ill inmates when an application is made on behalf of the inmate. DCS provides primary health care services. Inmates provided with ARVs have the responsibility of taking treatment themselves.

3. When people want to discover files of ex inmates during the previous era, what route can they follow?
 The DCS has Archives situated in Pretoria. Submissions can be emailed through to the Department which are then sent through to the Archives for an answer and they are then informed accordingly.

4. I would like to know if a certain offender is in one of your facilities?
 You are more than welcome to provide us with the name of the person, birthdate or id number if possible, and we can trace the person for you if he/she is in one of our facilities.

 5. How can one apply for reduction of sentence?
A sentenced can only be reduced by a court. The person must apply for leave to appeal. The only other option to reduce a sentence is when the President uses his powers in terms of section 84(2)(j) of the Constitution. This process is driven by the Department of Justice.

6. What is Amnesty and how does it work – who gets it and on what condition and when?
The granting of Special Remission (Amnesty) is an internationally accepted practice, usually to celebrate a special event. During 2005 the President granted Special Remission to sentenced offenders to celebrate the first 10 years of Democracy. (In terms of Section 84 (2) (j) of the Constitution, 1996 the pardoning or reprieving offenders and the remitting of any fines, penalties or forfeitures is the prerogative of the President).
In general (although there may be exceptions) the length of sentence to be served is reduced with the period of special remission (amnesty), granted by the President, e.g. if a person received 6 months special remission on a 2 year sentence, he/ she will have to serve 18 months after the special remission has been deducted.
With regard to the question who gets special remission, it should be noted that there is no fixed criteria. During the most recent occasion (30 May 2005) the President granted 6 months special remission to all sentenced offenders and an additional 14 months to those offenders not serving sentences for aggressive crimes, firearm related crimes, sexual crimes and drug related crimes. This criteria may not have been applicable during previous special remissions.