Compliance through Pain Electric Shock Equipment in South African Prisons

The authorization of various kinds of electric shock devices for use in South African prisons, are designed to enforce compliance through pain, incapacitation or fear of activation. However, their use has been associated with acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. This policy brief produces an overview of electric shock equipment and describes known harmful medical effects associated with its use. It highlights the use and misuse of these types of equipment in correctional institutions in South Africa, and outlines how and why this equipment is in breach of local, regional and international standards. This brief is designed to raise awareness of these concerns and to provide recommendations for change in how electric shock equipment is used in South Africa.