Leeuwkop Correctional Center

In 2013, JDI-SA launched a groundbreaking project at Leeuwkop Correctional Centre, a prison in Gauteng. We develop policies aimed at keeping its prisoners safe from rape — and we work to shift the negative attitudes that allow this abuse to thrive.

JDI-SA’s Leeuwkop project is the first-ever initiative to end sexual abuse in a South African prison. The project’s goal is not only to stop rape at Leeuwkop, but to show that it is possible for every prison in the country to do so.

To date, we have trained dozens of Leeuwkop staff, giving them the skills to prevent and detect sexual abuse. We have also created a committee of officials who are dedicated to making the facility safer. Our work focuses on increasing protections for gay and transgender prisoners, specifically by combating the homophobia and transphobia that is widespread in prisons, among inmates and officers alike.

Leeuwkop’s new prevention strategies are based on the Policy to Address the Sexual Abuse of Inmates in DCS Facilities (Sexual Abuse Policy). Developed by JDI, the Center for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, and the Department of Correctional Services, the Sexual Abuse Policy is a human rights tool with enormous potential to reduce sexual violence. By committing to these reforms, Leeuwkop is poised to become a model for the rest of the South Africa’s prisons.