The latest figures show there are more than 156 000 inmates in prisons around the country, more than a quarter of whom are awaiting-trial prisoners.
“As at August 20 (this year), there are a total of 156 370 inmates in our correctional facilities, of which 112 416 are sentenced offenders, and 43 954 are remand detainees,” Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said.
In a written reply to a parliamentary question, tabled today, he said his department was committed to reducing overcrowding in its facilities.
“The (department) committed itself to reduce the level of overcrowding by at least 2% per annum in order to comply with the constitutional requirement to detain inmates under humane conditions.”
Ndebele said correctional services had managed to reduce overcrowding in prisons from 38% in 2007/08 “to 28% as on July 30 (this year)”.
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