New Generation to help reduce overcrowding

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cape Town - The completion of the New Generation Kimberley Correctional Centre will add an extra 3 000 bed spaces for prisoners and is set to go a long way in alleviating overcrowding in prisons, Minister of Justice Jeff Radebe said on Thursday.

Radebe was briefing the media and outlining the plans for government's justice, crime and security cluster for this year.

He said a newly appointed ministerial task team in the Department of Correctional Services will over the next six months conduct an audit of certain offenders with the aim of finding ways to reduce overcrowding in prisons.

Minister of Correctional Services Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said her department was placing a lot of emphasis on consulting with victims before deciding whether to grant parole to those incarcerated.

This hadn't been easy, she said, as it was often difficult to track down victims and because many victims didn't want to speak about what had happened to them in fear of having to live through the events again.

"All of us should actually drive this campaign, that victims should come forward as we look at issues of parole," Mapisa-Nqakula said.

She said a medical parole policy had been developed by the National Council for Correctional Services and would hopefully be out by the end of this month for public comment.