The Justice Sector Support Program (JSSP) was awarded to the National Center for State Courts and Development Professionals Inc. (as a sub contractor) as a twenty-one month project funded by USAID in South Africa. The JSSP worked in partnership with key justice sector stakeholders to support and augment several justice sector reform initiatives characterized by two broad goals:
- Strengthening court administration and case flow management to provide for accessible, timely and fair justice to the citizens of South Africa; and
- Strengthening the effectiveness of the prosecution and adjudication of sexual offences cases, and the ability of courts to better manage cases of sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) fairly and sensitively.
DPI’s role in JSSP focused on providing technical assistance to the Sexual Offenses and Community Affairs (SOCA) Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). During the life of this project, DPI provided a comprehensive analysis of judicial decisions relating to sex-based crimes, as well as training for prosecutors on how to effectively conduct prosecutor-guided investigations in sexual offense cases. DPI identified and employed top quality consultants who provided cutting-edge technical assistance to the NPA.
The project also worked closely with South African NGO’s to create a more comprehensive training curriculum for court intermediaries that are responsible for interviewing child victims of rape during a trial. DPI also engaged civil society to create positive male role models to help inculcate a respect for the laws that pertain to GBV.
To provide best practices and develop linkages with international partners, DPI completed a successful study tour for members of the NPA to New York City and Washington, D.C. in October 2011. The study tour and subsequent technical assistance provided the South African government with the ability to open several safe houses in South Africa which were managed by DPI.