South African prisons decorations

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An overview of South African prisons service decorations and medals, which form part of the South African honours system.

Prisons Department[edit]


The Prisons Department was established in 1911. It was a civil service department, with uniformed warders. In 1955, the department adopted military ranks, and in 1959 its uniformed branch was named the South African Prisons Service.

The department had only one medal:

  • Long service medal
    • Faithful Service Medal of the Prisons Department (1922–68).

Until 1952, it was incorporated into the British honours system, as used in South Africa. Thereafter, it was part of the new South African honours system.

South African Prisons Service (1968-1980)[edit]

After South Africa became a republic (in 1961), the government established new decorations and medals for the various services. A series of three was instituted for the SA Prisons Service in 1968:

SA Prison Service Ribbons 1968-80.svg


Long service medal[edit]

Department of Correctional Services (1980-1996)[edit]

A new, and more comprehensive, series of decorations and medals was instituted in 1980. The SA Prisons Service was renamed Department of Correctional Services in 1990.

SA Prison Service Ribbons 1980-96.svg


Long service medal[edit]

In 1996, the department discontinued its military ranks and culture, including its decorations and medals.

See also[edit]


  • Alexander, E. G. M., Barron G. K. B. and Bateman, A. J. (1986). South African Orders, Decorations and Medals. Human and Rousseau.
  • Monick, S, (1988). Awards of the South African Uniformed Public Services. South African National Museum of Military History.

External links[edit]