Reformatory Boys (2001) – For juvenile offenders, reformatory is the last stop when all else has failed. We enter the secret world of a South African reformatory, a place where inmates use violence and blackmail to jostle for power.
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On the recommendation of their arresting officer and the Commissioner of Child Welfare, the court sends heroin addicts Jurie (14) and Eric (17) to Ethokomala Reformatory. It is their very last chance to break free from the life that has imprisoned them. For the first time in their short lives the boys’ days are strictly regimented and they are back in school for the first time in two years, their movements supervised round the clock. They have now been off heroin for more than 4 months but this does not mean they have been rehabilitated psychologically and emotionally. Will reformatory discipline may not be enough to help them once they are sent back to Pretoria? For Eric and Jurie it may be a very temporary respite from the unpredictable demands of the street.
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SABC Special Assignment – Ref. 1168