Overcrowding in prisons remains a challenge in South Africa

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Overcrowding Prisons
Overcrowding Prisons

South Africa’s Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola said the impact of overcrowding in prisons remains a challenge that continues to put a strain on available resources, according to a report from local media Wednesday.

The inmate population has increased 7.67 percent between the 2020/2021 and 2022/2023 financial years, and this constitutes an increase of more than 10,800 inmates, a report from the South African Broadcasting Corporation quoted Lamola as saying.

By October last year, the overall population had exceeded 151,750 inmates in prison, the report said.

External factors that have a direct influence on the inmate population levels include crime tendencies in society, the unemployment rate, an increase in effective measures to combat and prosecute crime, as well as impeding legislation on mandatory minimum sentences, according to Lamola.

The Correctional Services Department does not have control over the influx of inmates from courts, said the report, adding that by the end of September last year, there were close to 2,980 sentenced offenders still in custody as they could not afford to pay their fines. Enditem

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