The Ministry of Correctional Services have announced the extension of four prisons in a bid to tackle overcrowding.
The four facilities that will be extended are the Kgosi Mampuru prison in Pretoria, the Standerton prison in Gauteng, the Tzaneen facility in Limpopo and the Estcourt prison in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Ministry spokesperson Logan Maistry said: “The facilities will provide a total bed capacity of 1,542. They will also add to the range of measures we are undertaking to deal with overcrowding, which leads to security compromises among other undesirable outcomes.”
An incredible 3,847 correctional service officers were found guilty of misconduct between April 2017 and March 2018.
While detailing the outcomes of those disciplinary processes Maistry said:
“Of these, 128 were dismissed while 2,743 were issued with warnings. A total of 99 officials were suspended without pay.”
The department faces massive challenges in preventing the smuggling of contraband into prisons and preventing the escape of inmates.
A recent sting operation at the Baviaanspoort correctional centre in Tshwane saw two young women caught in possession of drugs and alcohol bound for prisoners.
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Maistry said of the incident:
“Following a tip-off, the department conducted a sting operation on Saturday (November 17) at the DCS emergency support team at the Baviaanspoort correctional centre in Tshwane.
“The suspects are behind bars and an investigation, which also seeks to establish the complicity of some DCS officials, is under way.
“The operations led to the confiscation of drugs and other contraband.”
The ministry announced an initiative designed to combat unrest in correctional facilities over the festive season when there are traditionally flare ups of prison violence.
He said: “On December 3, the DCS will launch ‘Operation Vala’ to prevent festive season-related escapes and assaults. There will be increased supervision of officials as well as decreasing idleness among inmates. Operation Vala will run to January 11.”
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