Prison Wiki

Leeuwkop Prison

Leeuwkop Prison

Table of Contents


As a correctional facility, Leeuwkop Prison plays an important role in South Africa’s criminal justice system. It houses individuals who have been convicted of serious crimes and serves as a place for them to serve out their sentences while undergoing rehabilitation and preparing for reentry into society. While the prison is designed to ensure the safety and security of both inmates and staff, it is also important to consider the needs of inmates’ families and loved ones. This guide aims to provide comprehensive information about the facility, including its history, mission, and programs, as well as guidelines for visiting, communicating with inmates, and supporting loved ones during and after incarceration. The ultimate goal of this guide is to help promote understanding and awareness of the role of Leeuwkop Prison in the justice system and to provide resources for those impacted by incarceration.


Leeuwkop Prison is a correctional facility located in Johannesburg, South Africa. The prison houses male inmates and serves as a maximum-security facility. This guide is designed to provide visitors and families with comprehensive information about the facility, including visitation guidelines, inmate communication policies, and programs and services available to inmates. The guide also covers resources available for families and friends of inmates and provides information on the parole process and reentry programs for released inmates.

The prison is managed by the Department of Correctional Services, which is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of inmates and staff, as well as providing programs and services to support the rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates into society.

By reading this guide, individuals can gain a better understanding of the operations and procedures of Leeuwkop Prison and the South African prison system as a whole. It is intended to serve as a valuable resource for anyone seeking information on this correctional facility, including inmates, families and friends of inmates, and researchers interested in the field of corrections.

Facility Details

Location and Contact Information

Leeuwkop Prison is located in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, South Africa, and is accessible by car or public transportation. The address is 6 Olifantsfontein Rd, Halfway House, Midrand, 1685, and the phone number is +27 11 528 4000.

Security Level and Inmate Population

Leeuwkop Prison is a maximum-security facility designed to house high-risk offenders. The prison has a capacity of 2047 inmates, with a current population of approximately 2200 inmates. The inmates are all male and are classified according to their offense and behavior within the facility.

As a maximum security prison, the facility has stringent security measures in place to ensure the safety of both inmates and staff. The facility is equipped with surveillance cameras, metal detectors, and secure fencing to prevent escape attempts and maintain order within the prison.

The inmate population at Leeuwkop Prison varies, but typically includes individuals who are serving long sentences or who have been deemed high-risk for violence or escape. The facility also houses individuals who are awaiting trial or who are being held for deportation.

Because of the high-security nature of the prison, inmates at Leeuwkop are subject to strict rules and regulations governing their behavior and activities. Inmates are required to adhere to a strict schedule, participate in educational and vocational programs, and follow all prison rules and regulations.

Overall, the security level and inmate population at Leeuwkop Prison are carefully managed to maintain a safe and secure environment for both inmates and staff. The facility’s security measures and programs are designed to promote rehabilitation and prepare inmates for successful reentry into society.

Facility History and Mission

Leeuwkop Prison was established in 1912 and has undergone significant renovations and upgrades over the years to modernize the facility and improve living conditions for inmates.

The mission of Leeuwkop Prison is to provide a safe, secure, and humane environment for inmates, staff, and visitors. The prison is committed to upholding the constitutional rights of inmates and providing them with access to programs and services that support their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

The Department of Correctional Services, which manages Leeuwkop Prison, has a number of goals and objectives in place to achieve this mission. These include ensuring that inmates are housed in safe and secure conditions, providing access to education and vocational training programs, offering substance abuse and mental health treatment services, and facilitating spiritual and religious support for inmates who desire it.

The department also seeks to maintain effective communication between inmates and their families, and to provide opportunities for inmates to participate in restorative justice programs, which aim to repair the harm caused by their offenses and promote accountability.

Overall, the mission of Leeuwkop Prison and the Department of Correctional Services is to promote public safety by ensuring that inmates are held accountable for their actions while also providing them with opportunities to turn their lives around and successfully reintegrate into society.

Visiting the Facility

Visitation Hours and Guidelines

Leeuwkop Prison allows visitors on specific days and times each week. Visitation hours are from 9 am to 11 am and 12 pm to 3 pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Visitors are required to arrive at the facility at least 30 minutes before the start of the visitation period to allow time for processing. Visitors are required to adhere to a dress code, which includes modest and appropriate clothing. Revealing clothing, including shorts, mini-skirts, and tank tops, are not allowed. Visitors must also remove all metal objects, including jewelry and hair accessories, before entering the facility.

Required Documentation for Visitors

Visitors to Leeuwkop Prison are required to provide valid identification, such as a government-issued ID or passport. Visitors must also be on the inmate’s approved visitor list and have a scheduled visitation appointment. Visitors are advised to check with the prison administration or the inmate to confirm their visitation status before traveling to the facility.

Special Accommodations for Visitors with Disabilities

Leeuwkop Prison accommodates visitors with disabilities, including wheelchair access and other accommodations as needed. Visitors with disabilities are advised to contact the prison administration in advance to make arrangements for their visit.

Inmate Communication

Telephone, Email, and Postal Mail Policies

Inmates at Leeuwkop Prison are allowed to make phone calls, send and receive emails, and receive postal mail. Phone calls and emails are subject to monitoring and may be restricted based on the inmate’s behavior and disciplinary history.

Email is also available to inmates through a secure messaging system. Inmates must pay a fee to use the system and are limited to a certain number of messages per week.

Postal mail is another way for inmates to communicate with the outside world. Inmates can send and receive letters, as well as receive approved publications, such as books and magazines. However, all mail is subject to inspection and must meet certain guidelines.

Approved Methods for Sending and Receiving Messages

Inmates are only allowed to communicate with approved individuals on their visitor list. Phone calls must be made from designated phone banks within the facility, and emails must be sent through a secure messaging system. Inmates are allowed to receive letters and packages through the postal mail system.

Restrictions on Content and Materials

Inmates are not allowed to receive certain items through the mail, including cash, food, and sexually explicit materials. All incoming mail is subject to inspection and may be rejected if it violates prison policies.

Additionally, there are restrictions on the type of materials that can be sent and received through postal mail. Inmates are only allowed to receive publications that have been approved by the prison staff. Materials that promote violence, hatred, or discrimination are not allowed.

It is important for inmates and their loved ones to understand the communication policies and restrictions at Leeuwkop Prison to avoid any disciplinary action or negative consequences. Inmates who violate these rules may have their communication privileges suspended or face other disciplinary measures.

Sending Money to Inmates

Approved Methods for Depositing Funds

Friends and family members can deposit money into an inmate’s account using a variety of methods, including online payment systems, cash deposits at designated kiosks, and money orders.

Fees and Processing Times

Fees and processing times for depositing funds into an inmate’s account vary depending on the method used. Online payment systems and cash deposits are typically processed immediately, while money orders may take several days to clear.

Limits and Restrictions on Inmate Accounts

Inmates are only allowed touse funds in their account to purchase approved items, such as personal hygiene products and snacks from the prison commissary. There are limits on the amount of money that can be deposited into an inmate’s account, and inmates may also be required to pay restitution or fines out of their account.

Inmate Programs and Services

Education and Vocational Training

Leeuwkop Prison offers a variety of educational and vocational training programs for inmates, including adult basic education, computer skills training, and vocational training in fields such as carpentry, welding, and horticulture. These programs are designed to help inmates develop skills and prepare for reentry into society.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment

The prison provides substance abuse treatment and mental health services for inmates with addiction or mental health issues. These programs include counseling, group therapy, and support groups to help inmates address underlying issues and develop coping skills.

Religious Services and Spiritual Support

Leeuwkop Prison offers religious services and spiritual support for inmates of different faiths. Inmates are allowed to practice their religion and attend services within the facility, and chaplains are available to provide spiritual support and guidance.

Inmate Rights and Grievance Procedures

Overview of Inmate Rights

Inmates at Leeuwkop Prison have certain rights, including access to medical care, legal representation, and due process. Inmates also have the right to file grievances and complaints if they feel their rights have been violated.

Inmates at Leeuwkop Prison have the right to be treated with dignity and respect, free from abuse, neglect, or discrimination. They have the right to receive necessary medical care and medication, to have access to educational and vocational programs, and to practice their religion or spiritual beliefs. Inmates also have the right to receive visitors and communicate with family and friends through approved channels, such as phone calls and mail.

How to File a Grievance or Complaint

Inmates can file grievances or complaints using the prison’s official complaint system. Complaint forms are available in the facility, and inmates are advised to follow the established procedures for filing a complaint.

Grievances can be filed in writing or verbally and must be submitted to the prison’s grievance coordinator. The grievance coordinator will investigate the complaint and respond to the inmate within a reasonable amount of time. If the inmate is not satisfied with the response, they can appeal the decision to higher levels of authority within the prison system.

Legal Representation and Resources for Inmates

Leeuwkop Prison provides access to legal resources and representation for inmates who require legal assistance. In addition, inmates may be eligible for legal assistance from outside organizations, such as the Legal Aid South Africa, which provides legal services to low-income individuals. Inmates may also be able to access pro bono legal services from private attorneys or law firms. It is important for inmates to understand their legal rights and resources, as well as the grievance and complaint procedures, to ensure that their rights are protected while in prison.

Family and Friends Support Resources

Organizations and Services for Family Members

Families and friends of inmates can access resources and support services through organizations such as the South African Prisoners Organization for Human Rights (SAPOHR) and the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders (NICRO). These organizations provide counseling, support groups, and other resources for families and friends of inmates.

Tips for Maintaining Healthy Relationships with Inmates

Maintaining a healthy relationship with an incarcerated loved one can be challenging, but it is important for their wellbeing and successful reentry into society. Families and friends of inmates are advised to maintain regular communication, set boundaries, and seek support when needed.

Here are some tips for maintaining healthy relationships with inmates:

Keep communication open: Communication is key to any relationship, and this is especially true for relationships with inmates. Make sure to keep lines of communication open through phone calls, letters, and visits. Let your loved one know that you care and are there to support them.

Stay positive: It’s important to remain positive and supportive when communicating with your loved one. Avoid being overly negative or critical, and instead focus on positive and uplifting topics.

Set boundaries: While it’s important to stay in touch and show support, it’s also important to set boundaries. Make sure to take care of yourself and your own needs, and avoid getting pulled into any negative or destructive behaviors.

Seek support: Supporting an incarcerated loved one can be emotionally challenging. Make sure to seek support from friends, family, or a support group to help you cope with any stress or difficulties.

Stay involved in their life: While your loved one is incarcerated, it’s important to stay involved in their life. Keep up-to-date on their case and any changes in their situation, and stay informed about any programs or resources that may be available to them.

Avoid enabling negative behavior: While it’s important to support your loved one, it’s also important to avoid enabling any negative behavior. Encourage positive changes and behaviors, and avoid getting involved in any illegal or harmful activities.

Plan for the future: While it can be difficult to think about the future when your loved one is incarcerated, it’s important to plan for their release and reintegration into society. Discuss goals and plans for the future, and talk about any support or resources that may be needed to help them successfully transition back into society.

Coping Strategies and Self-Care for Family Members

Coping with the stress and emotional impact of having a loved one in prison can be challenging. Family members are advised to practice self-care, seek support from loved ones and professionals, and maintain a positive outlook for their loved one’s future.

Here are some coping strategies and self-care tips for family members of incarcerated individuals:

Seek support: Reach out to family members, friends, or a support group to talk about your feelings and experiences. Having a supportive network can help alleviate stress and provide emotional comfort.

Educate yourself: Learn as much as you can about the criminal justice system, prison life, and the reentry process. Understanding the process and the challenges your loved one is facing can help you feel more in control and better equipped to support them.

Practice self-care: Take time for yourself to engage in activities that you enjoy, such as exercise, reading, or spending time outdoors. Engage in self-care practices that promote relaxation and stress reduction, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.

Set boundaries: It’s important to set boundaries and take care of yourself. Avoid getting pulled into any negative or harmful behaviors, and prioritize your own emotional and mental well-being.

Stay positive: Maintain a positive outlook and focus on the strengths and positive qualities of your loved one. Encourage positive changes and behaviors, and avoid dwelling on negative or unchangeable aspects of the situation.

Stay involved: Stay informed about your loved one’s case and any changes in their situation. Stay involved in their life by writing letters, visiting, and supporting their rehabilitation efforts.

Seek professional help: If you’re struggling to cope with the stress and emotions of having a loved one in prison, seek professional help from a therapist or counselor. They can provide guidance, support, and coping strategies to help you navigate this challenging time.

Release and Reintegration

Overview of the Parole Process

The parole process in South Africa involves a series of assessments and reviews to determine an inmate’s suitability for release. Inmates must demonstrate good behavior, participate in rehabilitative programs, and meet other criteria before they are considered for parole.

In South Africa, the parole process is managed by the Department of Correctional Services. Inmates who have served a portion of their sentence and meet certain criteria may be eligible for parole. The parole board will evaluate the inmate’s behavior while in prison, their risk of reoffending, and their plans for reintegration into society before making a decision.

Reentry Programs and Resources for Released Inmates

Leeuwkop Prison offers a variety of reentry programs and resources for released inmates, including job training, housing assistance, and counseling. These programs are designed to help inmates successfully reintegrate into society and reduce their risk of reoffending.

Tips for Supporting a Loved One During Reintegration

Reintegrating into society after a period of incarceration can be challenging for released inmates. Families and friends are advised to provide emotional support, help with practical tasks such as finding housing and employment, and encourage their loved one to continue participating in rehabilitative programs.

Communicate openly and honestly: Make sure your loved one knows that you support them and are there for them during this challenging time. Encourage them to communicate openly and honestly with you about their feelings and concerns.

Be patient and understanding: Reintegration can be a long and difficult process, and your loved one may face setbacks and challenges along the way. Be patient and understanding, and offer your support and encouragement throughout the process.

Help them access resources and support: Connect your loved one with reentry programs, job training, and other resources that can help them successfully reintegrate into society.

Encourage healthy habits and behaviors: Encourage your loved one to adopt healthy habits and behaviors, such as exercise, healthy eating, and avoiding drugs and alcohol.

Celebrate their successes: When your loved one reaches milestones or achieves goals, celebrate their successes with them. This can help boost their confidence and motivation as they work to rebuild their lives after release.

Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions and concerns about Leeuwkop Prison and the prison system in South Africa are addressed in this section.

Q: What security measures are in place at Leeuwkop Prison?

A: Leeuwkop Prison is a maximum security facility with strict security measures in place. These measures include security cameras, perimeter fencing, and armed guards.

Q: What are the visitation hours at Leeuwkop Prison?

A: Visitation hours vary depending on the section of the prison and the day of the week. Visitors are advised to check the official Leeuwkop Prison website for current visitation hours.

Q: What documentation is required for visitors?

A: Visitors must provide valid identification, such as a passport or ID card, and must be on the inmate’s approved visitor list. Additional documentation may be required for international visitors.

Q: Can inmates receive care packages or gifts from family members?

A: The prison has strict guidelines on what items are allowed to be sent to inmates, and care packages or gifts may not be permitted. Families and friends of inmates are advised to check the official Leeuwkop Prison website for a list of approved items.

Q: What resources are available for families and friends of inmates?

A: Organizations such as SAPOHR and NICRO provide resources and support services for families and friends of inmates. These services may include counseling, support groups, and information on the prison system.

Q: What happens to inmates after they are released from prison?

A: Released inmates are often required to participate in reentry programs and may be subject to parole conditions. Leeuwkop Prison offers a variety of reentry programs and resources to help released inmates successfully reintegrate into society.


Leeuwkop Prison is a maximum security facility located in South Africa that houses a diverse inmate population. The prison provides a variety of programs and services for inmates, including educational and vocational training, substance abuse and mental health treatment, and religious services. Inmates at Leeuwkop Prison have certain rights, and the prison has established procedures for filing grievances and complaints. Families and friends of inmates can access resources and support services through organizations such as SAPOHR and NICRO, and released inmates can participate in reentry programs and access resources to help them successfully reintegrate into society. This guide provides detailed information on the various aspects of Leeuwkop Prison, including visitation guidelines, inmate communication policies, and the parole process.

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