WHY WE NEED TO GET RID OF THESE LAWS
Some may argue that arresting people for these offences make society safer and reduce crime. There is, however, no evidence from research that this is the case. Moreover the research rather indicate
the contrary by exposing people to further risk and marginalisation
Detention not only adds to prison overcrowding, but also has a range of negative consequences for the
detainees and their families:
- Loss of employment for those employed in the formal sector.
- Families lose their contribution (monetary and non-monetary) to the household, even if it was small.
- Children can suffer in terms of their general care, as well as access to education.
- Children often drop out of school because the family cannot afford costs associated with schooling.
- Lengthy pre-trial detention brings new costs to families:
- Travel costs to visit family members in prison; and
- Taking food and other necessities to detainees which the state is supposed to provide – ultimately resulting in the poor subsidising imprisonment.
- Severe health consequences, especially in overcrowded prisons with poor health care services.