Ruling response

In its determination delivered in response to an appeal by Bulletin reader Darron Araujo against the decision of the office of the Ombud, the Independent Newspapers Appeal Panel instructed the Bulletin to send a copy of the determination to the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (“Ombud rules article a lesson in sensitivity”, Bulletin, March 1). This is their response to the ruling.

Emerentia Cupido, spokesperson for the Official Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Service (JICS)

The statutory mandate of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) is to ensure that all inmates, irrespective of whether they are on remand or sentenced, are treated and held in conditions consistent with the constitution. Human dignity extends to inmate dignity in all respects. JICS inspectors and the Independent Correctional Centre Visitors continuously monitor all remand and correctional facilities under consideration of this mandate.

Any form of discrimination by officials or inmates is unlawful in terms of our Bill of Rights, Correctional Services Act and the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act. These include, but is not limited to, race, gender, disability and sexual orientation.

Our recommendations to the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and complainants aim to educate and develop, especially highlighting the principles contained in the Constitution to respect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights.

JICS will continue to sensitise all relevant parties including complainants and all staff (JICS and DCS officials) about the rights of vulnerable groups even though we have no control over the types of complaints that we receive, we prioritise those of vulnerable groups to ensure that human dignity is extended to everyone.