Correctional Services ‘doing all it can’ to ease overcrowding in SA prisons

Since the coronavirus outbreak, more than 10,000 officials and inmates have been infected with the virus - more than 200 have died.

Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - The Correctional Services Department said that it was doing all it could to reduce overcrowding in prisons.

Correctional facilities are said to be the perfect breeding ground for COVID-19, with 934 active cases of the coronavirus in the country's prisons.

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has said it was worried.

To this end, it has called for the immediate removal of Correctional Service Commissioner Arthur Fraser.

Since the outbreak, more than 10,000 officials and inmates have been infected with the virus - more than 200 have died.

Correctional Service Department officials make up the majority of the cases and deaths.

Popcru's Richard Mamabolo said that there was a spike when all prison officials were ordered to return to work.

“After agreeing that we’re going to be having 50% on rotation, on a weekly basis, the commissioner then went ahead without consulting any stakeholders and called all our members back to work. In that period alone, we saw a rise in the numbers of infections.”

The union said that Fraser was out of touch with the deteriorating conditions in prisons and should be sacked.

Meanwhile, Correctional Services said overcrowding had been reduced by over 15% and said infection prevention control measures were being ramped up at reception areas, cells, offices, vehicles and ablution facilities.

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