Zach Modise, the Correctional Services National Commissioner is agitating for a better living condition for SA prisoners.
Thus, he has called on the departments in the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) across the nation to work hard towards reducing overcrowding in South Africa’s correctional facilities.
BuzzSouthAfrica gathered Modise’ call was inspired by the recent order granted by the Western Cape High Court to reduce the number of persons detained at the Pollsmoor Remand Detention Facility (RDF) to 150% of the current approved accommodation within six months.
To Modise, the overcrowding problem at correctional centers will pose much bigger problem to the country at large if they aren’t quickly addressed.
Speaking about the issue at the South African Police Service (SAPS) provincial headquarters in Cape Town, Modise said:
“It is a well-known fact that overcrowding of correctional centers indicates a larger systemic ill in society, which is that of crime itself. Therefore, crime prevention, in cooperation with communities, remains a priority.
As the JCPS Cluster, we have agreed that there is an urgent need for continuous engagement and a collective approach at national, provincial and local level to find lasting solutions to the challenges of overcrowding in the country’s correctional facilities.”
The National Commissioner added that the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) with all JCPS Cluster partners, including the SAPS, Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, State Security Agency, Special Investigating Unit, National Prosecuting Authority, Office of the Chief Justice, Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and Department of Defence, can find solutions to overcrowding.
“We remain committed to building a humane, efficient and effective correctional system. We must ensure that incarceration, and rehabilitation, is provided in a manner consistent with national and international standards,” he said.
Already, DCS has initiated many measures to address overcrowding.
Nonetheless, Modise expressed that the ultimate objective is the realization, and implementation, of recommendations contained in the Report by Judge Edwin Cameron, as well as the investigation by the Public Service Commission (PSC), in collaboration with the Judicial Inspectorate of Correctional Centres (JICS), into this matter.