Overcrowded prisons tackled
A national task team is being established to tackle overcrowding in prisons and the Department of Correctional Services is ready to roll out its electronic monitoring project, which should help to ease the problem. Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele, said that of the 156 370 inmates in South African prisons, 43 954 were awaiting trial prisoners. Many had been granted bail of R1 000 and less, but could not afford to pay it.
This would “hopefully” reduce the number of awaiting trial prisoners to about 20 000, or possibly lower. In July, Ndebele, accompanied by top prison officials, toured prisons in Los Angeles and New York to study how those cities managed their electronically-tagged prisoners.
The department said it aimed to have at least 10 000 prisoners electronically monitored within five years. Ndebele said this would be a cost-effective way of easing prison overcrowding.
In a written reply to a parliamentary question, Ndebele said the departments of Justice and Constitutional Development, Social Development, Safety and Security as well as the National Prosecuting Authority, were working with Correctional Services to identify and address the blockages that resulted in overcrowding. Initiatives by Correctional Services included converting sentences to community correctional supervision, release on parole and transfers between prisons.
The department would also encourage debate about incarceration as a sentence and an approach to appropriate sentencing that was focused on facilitating rehabilitation.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at Daily NewsSimilar Stories