Correctional Services tackles overcrowding

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cape Town - The Department of Correctional Services says that reducing overcrowding in correctional facilities remains one of its top priorities.

Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said during a Budget Vote briefing on Tuesday that they were dealing with the matter in a "sustained and integrated manner".

"We will be focusing on a phased fast-tracking of implementing the electronic monitoring for parolees and probationers. The introduction of a new system for the management of remand detention will also alleviate overcrowding through the effective implementation of the Bail Protocol.

"The department will also appoint court liaison officials to coordinate joint assessments for the placement of both remand detainees and people sentenced to less than 24 months to be diverted to correctional supervision," she said.

Mapisa-Nqakula also confirmed that the Correctional Matters Amendment Bill had been passed by Parliament and was awaiting the signature of President Jacob Zuma. The Bill will, among other things, provide a new system for the management of remand detention, she said.

"Together with a new white paper on remand, the Bill provides for the establishment of distinct remand detention facilities, maximum detention period, distinct clothing for detainees, care services offered to detainees, and access to the benefit of consideration for release on medical grounds," she said.

On another matter, the minister said that last year they lifted a moratorium on filling of vacant posts and so far had filled 2 234 posts, including 706 in administration.

She said that 1 032 learnerships and 496 interns had also been filled for training in their colleges. - BuaNews