The theory and practice of imprisonment in Northern Rhodesia, 1907-1964

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Chiputa, Euston Kasongo
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The punishment and reform of offenders are responsibilities performed by every state. They are the conventional reasons why imprisonment continues to be used. In Northern Rhodesia the use of imprisonment was introduced by the British South Africa Company (BSAC)during the first decade of the twentieth century. Its use and importance grew with the development of the Northern Rhodesia colonial state. Although the Territory was governed in three successive administrative phases, the use of imprisonment continually failed to accord with the requirements of prisoner reform and rehabilitation.This dissertation attempts to explain how and why the function of imprisonment in Northern Rhodesia diverged from the conventional purposes. The main aim is to provide a historical analysis of the factors behind the failure of imprisonment to function accordingly between 1907 and 1964. The dissertation is organised into three main chapters and a fourth one consisting of the conclusion. Chapter one focuses on the origin and development of the Northern Rhodesia prison system up to the end of the BSAC administration in 1924. In this chapter, the underlying theme is that the BSAC used imprisonment as an instrument of coercion and intimidation for the imposition and support of British colonial rule.The central thrust of the second chapter is the contention that although prisoner reform and rehabilitation became official prison policy from 1924 onwards, with some efforts directed to this end, the policy objectives were not achieved. The chapter addresses the various limitations that contributed to the failure to implement prisoner reform and rehabilitation.The third chapter discusses imprisonment during the Federal period up to independence in 1964. The chapter investigates the failure of the prisoner reform policy. The factors that hindered this realisation are also investigated.The final chapter is made up of the conclusion. The conclusion of the study is that the function of imprisonment failed to accord with the conventional purposes due to several factors. The major ones were the continued use of imprisonment as an instrument of coercion,shortage of resources, the impact of the two World Wars and the Worfd Economic Depression of 1929-35, as well as the colonial ideology in Northern Rhodesia.
Imprisonment---Northern Rhodesia