The Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services after a series of unannounced oversight visits to find out if and how solitary confinement was being carried out allegedly found shocking instances of prolonged confinement under inhumane conditions at Kgosi Mampuru C-Max in Pretoria.

South Africa’s prisons have been accused of practicing torture through their use of solitary confinement. Inmates reportedly spend 23 hours locked in a single cell with no human interaction, one hour in a cage for exercise with the initial period of confinement lasting up to six months at a time.

Spokesperson Emerantia Cupido said while these facilities were meant to house some of the most hardened criminals, the inspectorate also found that many had been incorrectly transferred there without due process.

Concern has also been raised around the potentially harmful mental health effects of solitary confinement. The inspectorate was set to raise its concerns with the Department of Correctional Services.

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