The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) is severely disturbed by the apparent conditions at the Pollsmoor Remand Detention Facility and Women’s Correctional Centre.
It is reported that the remand centre is at 300% capacity with 4198 inmates, a state of affairs that exposes the negligent attitude displayed those accountable for the wellbeing of inmates.
Not only does overcrowding and the lack of sufficient sanitary facilities affect inmates and staff at the Pollsmoor prison, but has for some time being an issue of national concern. Ablution facilities are minimal and overcrowding has seen many, inmates and staff, falling victim to diseases associated with such inhumane conditions. The shortage of personnel has equally had undesirable consequences, with their capacity being undermined by the number of inmates they become responsible for on a daily basis.
Our view is that prisons should not become a death sentence, but a platform with which those who have been found to have offended are rehabilitated so they could later be integrated and play a meaningful role in our society.
We can no longer allow a situation where we have to react to reports for us to take action. In this regard, we call upon the Department of Correctional Services to speedily comply ensure compliance with basic standards as articulated by the Bill of Rights and the Correctional Services Act are fully observed across all prisons in the country.
POPCRU will be taking up the issue in a way that would equally focus on the transformation of the criminal justice cluster.
Issued by POPCRU on 19/09/2015