Arrangement of Sections
1. Short title
ESTABLISHMENT AND CONTROL OF PRISONS
3. Declaration of prisons
4. Temporary prisons
4A. Regional Commanding Officer
5. Officer in charge
6. Police officers may act as prison officers
7. Women prison officers to care for and discipline female prisoners
CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
8. Zambia Prison Service
9. Membership of Service
10. Commissioner of Prisons
11. Commissioner empowered to make standing orders
12. Functions of Deputy Commissioner and delegation to Assistant Commissioner
13. Charge of prison in which no officer in charge appointed
14. Payments due to prison officers and other persons employed in prisons leaving the prison service may be set off
15. Minister may appoint committee of inquiry
ESTABLISHMENT OF PRISON HEALTH SERVICE
16. Establishment of Prison Health Service
16A. Director of health services
17. Medical Officers
18. Medical inspection
19. Observation of prisoners charged with capital offence
20. Examination of prisoners in separate confinement or in hospital
21. Powers of officer in charge to order prisoners to be examined
22. Death of prisoner
23. Notification of death of prisoner
ATTESTATION, SERVICE AND DISCHARGE OF PRISON OFFICERS
23B. Declaration on joining the service
23C. Prolongation of service in case of war
23D. Termination of appointment of certain prison officers
23E. Release on completion of service
23F. Arms and accoutrements to be delivered up on ceasing to belong to the Service
POWERS, DUTIES AND PRIVILEGES OF PRISON OFFICERS
24. General powers and duties of prison officers
25. Prison officer to have powers of police officer
26. Duties of prison officers
27. Power to examine persons or vehicles
28. Punishment by subordinate officers
29. Use of weapons by prison officers
30. Prison officer’s power to arrest
31. Power to take photographs, fingerprints, etc., of a prisoner
32. Non-liability for act done under authority of warrant
OFFENCES BY AND IN RELATION TO PRISON OFFICERS
33. Mutiny or sedition
34. Absence from duty and desertion by prison officers
35. Inciting prison officer to desert
36. Assault on officer senior in rank
37. Miscellaneous offences by prison officers
38. Other offences
39. Prison officers not to be members of trade unions
40. Prison officers not to engage in dealings with prisoners
DISCIPLINE OF PRISON OFFICERS
41. Methods of dealing with disciplinary matters
42. Reduction in rank or dismissal of prison officer
43. Offences against discipline by junior or subordinate officers
44. Arrest and confinement of junior or subordinate officers for disciplinary offence
45. Power to try junior officers
46. Power to try subordinate officers
47. Procedure after imposition of punishment
48. Prisons Advisory Board
49. Recovery of fines and stoppage of pay
50. Powers of officers holding disciplinary inquiries
51. Offence against discipline may be tried by subordinate court
52. Search of prison officer and his quarters
53. Interdiction of prison officer below rank of Superintendent
54. Pay not to accrue during absence without leave or imprisonment
ADMISSION AND CONTROL OF PRISONERS
55. Admission of prisoners
56. Admission of infant child with woman prisoner
57. Particulars of prisoner to be recorded
58. Search of prisoners
59. Custody and disposal of money and other effects of prisoners
CLASSIFICATION, CUSTODY AND REMOVAL OF PRISONERS
60. Separation of prisoners
61. Prisoners in custody of officer in charge
62. Probation officer may have custody of prisoner
63. Removal of juvenile to reformatory
64. Production of prisoners in court
65. Prisoners under police escort
66. Statements to police officers
67. Release of prisoners for investigations, etc.
68. Removal of prisoners from one prison to another
69. Certain prisoners may be restrained
70. Mentally disordered or defective prisoners
71. Removal of sick prisoners to hospital
72. Removal of prisoner to leprosarium
73. Liability for escape from hospital or leprosarium
74. Serving sentence while in hospital, etc.
EMPLOYMENT OF PRISONERS
75. General requirement to work
76. Employment of unconvicted criminal prisoners
ESCAPES, PROHIBITED ARTICLES AND AREAS
77. Penalty for introduction or removal of prohibited articles into and from prison and for unauthorised communication with prisoners
78. Power of arrest
79. Unauthorised communications
80. Offences in respect of prisons and prisoners
81. Removal of certain offenders
82. Unlawful possession of articles supplied to prison officers
83. Assisting prisoner to escape
84. Harbouring prisoners
85. Offences in connection with uniforms and decorations
86. Notice to be displayed stating offences in respect of prisons and prisoners
CIVIL AND UNCONVICTED PRISONERS
87. Maintenance of unconvicted prisoners from private sources
88. Food, etc., not to be transferred to other prisoners
89. Food, clothing and equipment for unconvicted prisoners
DISCIPLINE OF PRISONERS
90. Minor prison offences
91. Major prison offences
92. Separation of prisoner charged with offence
93. Hearing of prison offences
94. Punishments that may be imposed by subordinate court
95. Punishment of minor prison offences by junior or subordinate officers
96. Transfer of case
97. Punishment of minor prison offence by senior officer or visiting justice
98. Punishment of major prison offence by senior officer or visiting justice
106. Special provisions relating to punishments of separate confinement with penal diet and of reduced diet
107. Confinement in separate cell
108. Punishment in different prisons
REMISSION OF SENTENCE
109. Remission of part of sentence of prisoners
110. Remission of part of sentence of certain prisoners
DISCHARGE AND PAROLE
111. Officer in charge to be responsible for discharge of prisoners
111A. Discharge of terminally ill prisoners
112. Day of discharge of prisoners
113. Travelling expenses of prisoner on discharge
113A. National Parole Board
113B. Functions pf Parole Board
114. Release prisoner on parole
115. Minister may permit absence of young prisoners from prison
116. Release on licence of prisoners serving life imprisonment
EXTENSION SERVICES AND COMPULSORY AFTER CARE ORDERS
116A. Extension Services
116B. Eligibility for Extension Services
117. Compulsory after care orders
118. Failure to comply with compulsory after care order and commission of further offence during currency or order
REPORT ON LONG TERM PRISONERS
119. Report on long term prisoners
PRISONERS UNDER SENTENCE OF DEATH
120. Confinement of condemned prisoners
121. Persons who may have access to condemned prisoner
122. Attendance at execution by officials
VISITING JUSTICES, OFFICIAL VISITORS, MINISTERS OF RELIGION AND PRISONERS’ AID SOCIETIES
123. Judges may visit prisons
124. Minister and Ministers in charge of Provinces to be visiting justices
125. Magistrates, etc. to be visiting justices in own areas
126. Powers of visiting justices
127. Visiting justice to record visit in prescribed book
128. Appointment of official visitors
129. Duties of official visitors
130. Official visitors to record visit in prescribed book
131. Ministers of religion may visit prison
132. Visits of probation officers and representatives of prisoners’ aid societies
YOUTH CORRECTIVE CENTRES
133. Establishment of youth corrective centres
134. Corrective training may be ordered in certain circumstances
EXTRA-MURAL PENAL EMPLOYMENT
135. Extra-mural penal employment may be ordered in lieu of imprisonment
135A. Community service
135B. Serving prisoner’s right to apply for community service
136. List of prisoners detained to be delivered to High Court
137. Rewards for apprehension of escaped prisoners
138. Rewards and gratuities
139. Commutation of death sentence to sentence of imprisonment
140. Detention of prisoners from other countries
141. Removal of prisoners to other countries
142. Commissioner may grant permission to be absent from prison
143. Disposal of deceased’s estate
144. Witnesses’ expenses
145. Power to prosecute under other law not affected
RULES, REPEALS AND SAVINGS
147. Repeal and savings
to provide for the establishment of prisons, for a prison service, for the discipline of prison officers, for the management and control of prisons and prisoners lodged therein; to provide for youth corrective training centres and extra-mural penal employment; to provide for compulsory after care orders; and to provide for matters incidental to or connected with the foregoing.
[31st October, 1966]
Act 56 of 1965;
Act 13 of 1994;
Act 14 of 2000;
Act 16 of 2004.
SI 48 of 1974.
This Act may be cited as the Prisons Act.
[S 1 am by s 1 of Act 14 of 2000.]
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“appellant prisoner” means any convicted criminal prisoner who is detained in prison as a result of a conviction which is the subject-matter of an appeal, notice of which has been accepted but the decision in regard to which has not been given;
“approved school” has the meaning assigned to it in the Juveniles Act;
“Assistant Commissioner” means an assistant Commissioner of Prisons;
“civil prisoner” means a prisoner other than a criminal prisoner;
“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Prisons;
“Convicted criminal prisoner” means any criminal prisoner under sentence of a court or court-martial;
“court” means any court or authority entitled to pass a sentence in a criminal case or to order a person to be detained in custody in any case;
“criminal prisoner” means any person duly committed into custody under writ, warrant or order of any court exercising criminal jurisdiction or by order of a court-martial;
“Deputy Commissioner” means the Deputy Commissioner of Prisons;
“district messenger” has the meaning assigned to it in section 2 of the District Messengers Act;
[Ins by s 2 of Act 16 of 2004.]
“junior officer” means a prison officer of one of the ranks of junior officers set out in the Schedule;
“juvenile” means a person under the apparent age of nineteen years;
“major prison offence” means an offence declared to be a major prison offence under section 91;
“mechanical restraint” means restraint by the use of handcuffs, leg irons, straight jacket, or any other form of restraint approved by the Minister;
“medical officer” means a person appointed or nominated or engaged as medical officer of a prison under section 16;
“minor prison offence” means an offence declared to be a minor prison offence under section 90;
“officer in charge” means the person appointed to be in charge of a prison in pursuance of the provisions of section 5;
“official visitor” means a person appointed as such under section 128;
“Parole” means the conditional release of a convicted offender from a penal or correctional institution, under the continued custody of the State, to serve the convicted offender ‘s remainder of sentence in the community under supervision;
[Ins by s 2 of Act 16 of 2004.]
“Parole Board” means the National Parole Board established under section one hundred and thirteen A;
[Ins by s 2 of Act 16 of 2004.]
“penal diet” means such penal diet as may be prescribed in rules made under section 146;
“prison” means any building, enclosure or place or part thereof, declared to be a prison under section 3, or deemed to have been so established as provided in section 147 and includes a temporary prison established under section 4 and a youth corrective centre deemed to be a prison under section 133;
“prison offence” means a minor prison offence or a major prison offence;
“prison officer” means any member of the service and includes any public officer seconded to the service;
“prisoner” means any person, whether convicted or not, under detention in any prison;
“probation officer” means a probation officer appointed under the Probation of Offenders Act;
“prohibited article” means any article which is not issued to any prisoner by authority of the officer in charge, with the approval of the Commissioner, or an article the introduction or removal of which into or out of a prison is prohibited by this Act or by any rule made thereunder;
“receiving centre” has the meaning assigned to it in the Juveniles Act;
“reduced diet” means such punishment diet as may be prescribed in rules made under section 146;
“reformatory” has the meaning assigned to it in the Juveniles Act;
“senior officer” means a prison officer of one of the ranks of senior officers set out in the Schedule;
“subordinate officer” means a prison officer of one of the ranks of subordinate officers set out in the Schedule and includes any person into whose custody prisoners are given under sub-section (5) of section 71;
“the service” means the Zambia prison service established under section 8;
“unconvicted prisoner” means any person, not being a convicted prisoner, duly committed to custody under a writ, warrant, or order of any court or any order of detention issued by any person authorised thereto by any law, or by order of a court-martial;
“visiting justice” means a visiting justice specified in section 124 or 125;
“weapon” means any firearm, baton, tear smoke, or such other instrument as may be prescribed;
“young prisoner” means a prisoner under the apparent age of twenty years;
“youth corrective centre” means any building, enclosure or place, or any part thereof declared to be a youth corrective centre under section 133.
ESTABLISHMENT AND CONTROL OF PRISONS
(1) The Minister may, by Gazette notice, declare any building, enclosure or place, or any part thereof, to be a prison, and may, in a like manner, declare that any prison shall cease to be a prison.
(2) Every prison shall include the grounds and buildings within the prison enclosure and also any other grounds or buildings belonging or attached thereto and used by prisoners or the staff of the prison.
(3) In any writ, warrant or other legal instrument in which it may be necessary to describe a particular prison, any description designating a prison by reference to the name of the place or town where it is situated, or other definite description, shall be valid and sufficient for all purposes.
(a) it appears to the Commissioner that the number of prisoners in any prison is greater than can be conveniently kept therein and that it is not convenient to transfer the excess number to some other prison; or
(b) owing to the outbreak of epidemic disease within a prison or for any other reason, it is desirable to provide for the temporary shelter or safe custody of any prisoners; the Commissioner may establish a temporary prison in any building, enclosure or place, or part thereof.
(2) The Commissioner may, with the approval of the Minister, direct the Regional Commanding Officer to provide shelter in temporary prisons for the sale custody of such number of prisoners as cannot be conveniently or safely kept in the prison.
[S 4(2) subs by s 3 of Act 16 of 2004.]
(3) The Commissioner may cancel the establishment of a temporary prison.
(1) The Commissioner shall appoint for every region a Regional Commanding Officer below the rank of the Deputy Commissioner on the advice of the Police and Prisons Service Commission.
(2) A Regional Commanding Officer shall—
(a) be responsible to the Commissioner for the conduct and treatment of all prison officers and prisoners in the Regional Commanding Officer’s region;
(b) Supervise and control all prisons and officers and officers in charge of prisons in the Regional Commanding Officer’s region;
(c) Keep or cause to be kept such records as the Commissioner may direct; and
(d) Ensure that all prison officers and prisoners observe the provisions of this Act and any regulations, directions and orders made under it.
[S 4A ins by s 4 of Act 16 of 2004.]
(1) The Commissioner shall appoint for every prison an officer in charge who in the performance of their functions shall be subject to the direction and control of the Regional Commanding Officer.
[S 5(1) subs by s 5(a) of Act 16 of 2004.]
(2) Every officer in charge shall supervise and control all matters in connection with the prison to which he is appointed, and shall keep or cause to be kept such records as the Regional Commanding Officer may from time to time direct and shall be responsible to the Commissioner for the conduct and treatment of prison officers and prisoners under his control, and for the due observance by such officers and prisoners of the provisions of this Act and of all rules, directions and orders made or given thereunder.
[S 5(2) am by s 5(b) of Act 16 of 2004.]
(3) Every officer in charge shall be responsible for the safe custody of arms, accoutrements, ammunition, clothing and all other public stores and foodstuffs issued and delivered for the use of the prison, the prison officers and the prisoners under his control, and all public money for which he may be held accountable, and also, subject to the provisions of this Act and of any rules made thereunder, for all valuables, money, articles of clothing and other property entrusted to his keeping as being the property of prisoners, and shall account for the same in the event of their being lost or damaged otherwise than by unavoidable accident, theft, robbery or lawful use.
(4) Where an officer in charge appointed under subsection (1) is absent from the office or is for any reason unable to discharge the functions of the office of officer in charge, a prison officer of the senior-most rank in that prison shall temporarily assume charge of the prison until another officer in charge is appointed.
[S 5(4) ins by s 5(c) of Act 16 of 2004.]
(1) Where in any prison the number of prison officers detailed for duty in the prison is insufficient to secure the good management and government of the prison the Regional Commanding Officer shall, with the consent of the Commissioner and the Minister, employ such number of temporary prison officers as the Regional commanding Officer considers necessary for the good management and government of the prison.
[S 6(1) subs by s 6(a) of Act 16 of 2004.]
(2) A prison officer temporarily employed in pursuance of the provisions of sub-section (1) shall exercise and perform in the prison concerned the functions of a prison officer of the rank specified by the officer in charge and shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be a prison officer of that rank:
Provided that no such prison officer shall by reason of this section be a member of the service.
[S 6(2) am by s 6(b) of Act 16 of 2004.]
(3) A temporary prison officer to whom a prisoner is delivered under any provision of this Act shall, while the prisoner is in his charge or custody have the same powers and be subject to the same responsibilities, discipline and penalties and to the same authorities as a prison officer would have and be subject to in like circumstances.
[S 6(3) am by s 6(c) of Act 16 of 2004.]
(1) Subject to subsection (1), in every prison in which women prisoners are imprisoned there shall be women prison officers who shall have care and the superintendence of the women prisoners, and who shall be responsible for their discipline.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a male prison officer may be employed in a prison where women prisoners are imprisoned and a female prison officer may be employed in a prison where men prisoners are imprisoned:
Provided that whenever—
(a) any male prison officer who is employed in a prison where women prisoners are imprisoned is on duty the male prison officer shall be accompanied by a female prison officer; and
(b) any female prison officer who is employed in a prison where men prisoners are imprisoned is on duty the female prison officer shall be accompanied by a male prison officer.
[S 7 subs by s 7 of Act 16 of 2004.]
CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION
There is hereby established a police force to be known as the Zambia Prison Service for the management and control of prisons and prisoners lodged therein.
(1) The service shall consist of persons appointed to or deemed under this Act to have been appointed to any of the ranks set out in the Schedule.
(2) The Minister may, by statutory instrument, amend the Schedule.
(1) The service shall consist of persons appointed to or deemed under thios Act to have been appointed to any of the ranks set out in the Schedule.
(2) The Minister may by statutory instrument, amend the Schedule.
(1) There shall be a Commissioner of Prisons who shall be a public officer.
(2) The administration of the service and the control and supervision of all prisoners shall be vested in the Commissioner, subject to the direction of the Minister.
The Commissioner may, subject to the provisions of this Act, make standing orders and give administrative directions for observance by all prison officers.
(1) The person holding the office of Deputy Commissioner of Prisons may, subject to any orders or directions of the Commissioner, exercise and perform all or any of the functions of the Commissioner.
(2) The Commissioner may, unless a contrary intention appears in this Act or any other written law, delegate any of his functions to any person holding the office of an Assistant Commissioner.
(1) Where an officer in charge has not been appointed for a prison, the prison shall, until a prison officer is appointed to be officer in charge thereof, be in the charge of such public officer as the Minister may designate and the person so designated shall, in matters relating to the prison and prisoners, be subject to the orders and directions of the Commissioner and shall be deemed to be the officer in charge of the prison and shall for that purpose have all the functions conferred and imposed by this Act upon an officer in charge, subject to any express limitations of those functions imposed by the Commissioner.
(2) The Commissioner may authorise the employment of district messengers in any such prison as is mentioned in sub-section (1) as prison officers for the purpose of this Act and, when employed in such capacity, such district messengers shall be deemed, in matters relating to the prison and prisoners, to be prison officers of such rank as the Commissioner may specify for the purpose of this Act and shall for that purpose have all the functions conferred and imposed by this Act upon a prison officer of that rank:
Provided that no such district messenger shall by reason of this section be a member of the service.
A sum due to a prison officer or other person employed in prisons or to his estate by way of salary, refund of pension contributions, pension or any other benefit whatsoever may be set off against a sum payable to the Government by the prison officer or other person employed in prisons on or at the time of his retirement, resignation, loss of office, death, discharge or other termination of service, as the case may be.
(1) The Minister may, whenever he deems it necessary or desirable, appoint a committee of two or more persons of whom—
(a) one shall be the Commissioner or the Deputy Commissioner or an Assistant Commissioner;
(b) the other or others shall be an officer or officers of the public service;
to inquire into and report to him on the conduct, management or administration of any prison or any matter connected therewith or incidental thereto.
(2) For the purposes of any such inquiry as aforesaid, a committee appointed under sub-section (1) shall have the powers, rights and privileges conferred upon Commissioners by the Inquiries Act, and the provisions of that Act shall mutatis mutandis apply to any inquiry by a committee under this section and to any person summoned to give evidence or giving evidence before it.
ESTABLISHMENT OF PRISON HEALTH SERVICE
[Heading am by s 8 of Act 16 of 2004.]
There is hereby established a Prison Health Service whose purpose shall be to provide and administer health care within the Service.
[S 16 subs by s 9 of Act 16 of 2004.]
(1) The Commissioner shall appoint a Director of health services on the advice of the Minister responsible for health and on the recommendation of the Police and Prisons Service Commission.
(2) The Director shall—
(a) be responsible for the efficient and effective day to day administration of the Prison Health Service; and
(b) supervise the medical officers appointed under section 17.
[S 16A ins by s 10 of Act 16 of 2004.]
(3) A medical officer shall report to the officer in charge any circumstances connected with the prison or the treatment of prisoners which appear to the medical officer to require consideration on medical or health grounds.
(4) Where no medical officer is appointed under subsection (1), a Government medical officer in the district in which a prison is situated and who is nominated for duty as medical officer of the prison by the director of medical services with the concurrence of the Director shall be the medical officer of the prison.
(5) During any period the medical officer appointed or nominated as medical officer of a prison under subsection (4) is absent or is not available for duty, the officer in charge of the prison may, with concurrence of the Director, engage temporarily any medical practitioner as medical officer and the medical practitioner so engaged shall exercise and perform in the prison the functions of a medical officer and shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be the medical officer.
[S 17 subs by s 11 of Act 16 of 2004.]
(1) The medical officer shall, where practicable, ensure that every prisoner is medically examined on admission to and before discharge from a prison, and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed, and shall ensure that a record is kept of the state of health of every prisoner.
(2) Until he has been examined by the medical officer, every prisoner on admission shall, so far as practicable, be kept apart from other prisoners.
The medical officer shall observe the mental condition of all prisoners under sentence of death or charged with a capital offence and, for this purpose, shall personally examine those prisoners on every day on which he visits the prison, and shall furnish reports on those prisoners to the officer in charge in such form and at such times as
[S 19 am by s 12 of Act 16 of 2004.]
The medical officer shall ensure that every prisoner under sentence of death, or charged with a capital offence, or in separate confinement, or in hospital in prison, is medically examined every day on which the medical officer visits the prison.
An officer in charge may order a prisoner to submit himself to medical examination and treatment as often as such officer thinks necessary.
The medical officer shall, on the death of any prisoner, otherwise than by lawful execution, record in a register to be kept for such purpose the following particulars, so far as they can be ascertained—
(a) the day on which the deceased was sentenced;
(b) the day on which he was admitted to prison;
(c) the day on which he first complained of illness, or was observed to be ill, and the labour, if any, on which he was engaged on that day and the scale of his diet on that day;
(d) whether, and if so the day on which, he was admitted to hospital;
(e) the day on which the medical officer or his subordinate was first informed of the illness;
(f) the nature of the disease;
(g) when the deceased was last seen before death by the medical officer or his subordinate;
(h) when the prisoner died and, in cases where a postmortem examination is made, an account of the appearance after death, together with any special remarks that may appear to the medical officer to be required; and
(i) his opinion as to the cause of death.
Upon the death of a prisoner, the officer in charge shall at once notify a magistrate or coroner, and the medical officer of the prison and shall arrange for compliance with the appropriate provisions of the Inquests Act.
ATTESTATION, SERVICE AND DISCHARGE OF PRISON OFFICERS
[Part IVA ins by s 13 of Act 16 of 2004.]
A prison officer shall on joining the Service be attested to serve in the service for such period and on such conditions as may be prescribed by the Police and Prisons Service Commission.
(1) A person shall on joining the Service make and sign a declaration before a magistrate or a senior prison officer in such manner as may be declared to be binding on that person’s conscience.
(2) A person on joining the Serve shall, before making a declaration required in subsection (1), answer truthfully any question put to that person as to that person’s previous service in any military, naval, air force or police force, and as to whether that person has at any time been convicted in Zambia or elsewhere and been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than six months without the option of a fine.
Any prison officer who resigns or whose period of service expires during any state of war, insurrection or hostilities may be restrained from resigning or retiring from the Service and the service of that prison officer shall be prolonged for such further period as the President may direct.
(1) The appointment of a prison officer by the Police and Prisons Service Commission may within six months of making and signing the declaration prescribed under section 23B, be terminated on 14 days’ notice on either side or payment of fourteen days’ salary in lieu of notice.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) the Commission may discharge a prison officer—
(a) who is unfit to work due to ill health
(b) for misconduct;
(c) for providing false information on attestation or in the course of duty; or
(d) who is charged with a disciplinary offence under this Act.
(1) Subject to the provision of this Act, a prison officer who has completed that officer’s period of service shall be retired by the Police and Prison Service Commission and released from service by the officer in charge of the prison at the place where that prison officer is stationed unless at the date of completion of service, the prison officer is charged with a disciplinary offence under this Act and the case is still pending:
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