Brief background of
the Zambia Correctional Service
the Zambia Correctional Service was born at independence day, its origin is
deep rooted into the colonial era, first under
the Northern Rhodesia police force, then under the office of the Attorney General in 1912, later in
1927, back to the Police and
finally, as an independent Service in
1947 following the Prison Ordinance and regulations of 1947. This is how it
history of the Zambia Correctional Service is inherited from the colonial
police force called the Northern Rhodesia Police Force which was established in
In 1899, the British government issued the Barotseland- North-Western
Order-In-Council which gave the BSA company authority to govern North-Western
Rhodesia. It was this order which provided for the establishment of a police
force called the Barotse Native Police.
The growth of the BSA CO’s scope of operations towards the far North-
East brought with it some elements of administrative challenges that
necessitated the division of the region into two: the North-Western Rhodesia
and North-Eastern Rhodesia, which was administered by a man named Robert
This necessitated the formation of another police that would policy the
newly created territory (North- Eastern Rhodesia).
In 1900, the North- Eastern
Rhodesia Order-In-Council, which among other things defined the area, was
This order also provided for the establishment of a police Force called
the North-Eastern Rhodesia Constabulary which was to perform the same duties as
the Barotse Native Police.
The earliest reference to prisons in the archives dates back to 13th
October 1904 and is contained in a letter written by Henry Rangeley, magistrate
of North-Western Rhodesia to the administrator of the territory, suggesting
that an Order-In-Council be enacted to repeal the Colonial Prisoner’s Removal
Act of 1884, from the territory to Southern Rhodesia as the territpory did not
have enough prison facilities.
the hatching of the Prisons Service, the Police Force performed an additional
role of conveyance and safe custody of prisoners in their police lock- ups
alongside the maintenance of law and order.
1912, the management of prisons was
placed under the office of the Atonney General in an effort to reoganise
management of prisons.
in 1923, the Assistant Attorney General, proposed that his office be relieved
from the responsibility of administering prisons and prison system to be
reorganized to have an independent Prisons Service.
proposals ended up seeng the responsibility of managing prisons be taken back
to the police force and this came in 1927 followed by the minor amendments of
the Prison Ordinance and Rules of 1912.
title ‘Commissioner of Prisons’ was formulated in 1931 with Captain P.R
Wardroper becoming the first holder of this title. Remember that the Prisons
were still under the toils of the Police Force.
1938 Mr T.C. Fynn, Secretary to the then
Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) Department of Justice and Director of Prisons was
invited to assess how possible it was to establish an independent Prisons
Service in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia).
strong recommendation to re-organise
prison administration and to separte prisons from police convinced the colonial
government which quickly acted upon the matter.
1942, the first independent Commissioner of Prisons in the name of R.L. Worsely
1947, the Prisons Ordinance and Rules and the final constitution of the Prisons Department’s separation from the
Northern Rhodesia Police Force were enacted
foregoing neccesited the birth of the Northern
Rhodesia Prisons Service.
formation of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1953 meant that
prisons Services of these teritories were also to be merged hence the federal
prisons untill 1963
end of this consortium saw the name reverting back to Northern Rhodesia Prisons
Service till 24th October 1964 with its headquarters in Broken Hill
(now Kabwe) at Coronation Flats,
with O.V Garrat as Commissioner.
In 2015 and 2016, the Service once again underwent
two major administrative changes. In
2015, the Service’s Command Structure was upgraded with its head elevated to the
rank of Commissioner General from the rank of Commissioner. Further, in 2016,
the Service’s name was changed from Zambia Prisons Service to Zambia
Correctional Service following the enactment of the Constitution Amendment Act
no. 2 of 2016 which was assented to on 5th January 2016 by President
Edgar Chagwa Lungu. In the same year, the Service’s head office was moved to
Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city, before moved back to Kabwe in January 2019
following government’s directive.
In a nutshell, Zambia Correctional Service, the
forerunner of the Zambia Prisons Service, was borne at Independence Day, with
its origin deep rooted into the colonial era.