The Department of Prisons is the administrative management unit of the prison system with its principal duty of managing, enhancing and supervising work in prisons. The department is led by the Deputy Secretary-General for prisons of the Ministry of Justice and is divided into four divisions. In addition, the adviser and chief chaplain, secretary and the assistant to the Deputy Secretary-General also form part of department personnel.
The competence of the Sentencing Enforcement Division includes:
- supervision and surveillance activities;
- accounting and statistics of imprisoned persons and persons held in custody;
- maintenance of the register of prisoners;
- placement of imprisoned persons and persons held in custody;
- activities of the armed units of prisons;
- security and other safety systems, weapons, ammunition and special equipment of the Ministry and institutions in the area of jurisdiction of the Ministry.
The competence of the Rehabilitation Division includes:
- system of social rehabilitation of imprisoned persons and persons held in custody and social work in prisons;
- probation supervision;
- psychological assistance;
- education and cultural activities of imprisoned persons and persons held in custody;
- health care of imprisoned persons and persons held in custody;
- drug prevention and rehabilitation.
The competence of the Legal and Development Division includes:
- development of the prison organisation;
- legislative drafting;
- accounting, development and training of human resources;
- development of minimum-security imprisonment;
- issues pertaining to prison budgets;
- international cooperation and communication.
The competence of the Internal Control Division includes:
- prevention and detection of offences committed by employees of the Prisons Department and prison officers and, where necessary, carrying out surveillance activities with regard to prison officers;
- collection and analysis of surveillance information and other information received from prisons;
- coordination of protection of state secrets and inspection thereof in prisons;
- organisation and coordination of surveillance activities and criminal proceedings in prisons and coordination of cooperation between prisons and other investigative and surveillance bodies;
- exercising supervisory control over the activities of prisons;
- resolution of petitions, requests and challenges.