Plan to ease SA prison congestion

EAGER: Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula Minister of Home Affairs at the Call Centre Nucleus, Sunninghill, Jo'burg. Pic. Robert Tshabalala. 24/11/2009. © FM.
EAGER: Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula Minister of Home Affairs at the Call Centre Nucleus, Sunninghill, Jo'burg. Pic. Robert Tshabalala. 24/11/2009. © FM.

SOUTH Africa wants to build seven more new prisons to help ease chronic overcrowding in its jails, Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakulahas said.

SOUTH Africa wants to build seven more new prisons to help ease chronic overcrowding in its jails, Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakulahas said.

"In addition to Kimberley, seven 3000-bed new generation correctional centres are being planned," she said yesterday.

The minister said the Kimberley Correctional Centre, the country's first new generation prison, was expected to be commissioned in January.

It will be built at a cost of R700million. Four other similar prisons will be built in Klerksdorp, Nigel, East London and Paarl

Correctional Services says the design of the new generation

prisonsare meant to facilitate rehabilitation and differ fundamentally from the older prisons that were primarily to "warehouse" inmates.

South Africa suffers one of the world's highest crime rates. About 50 people are murdered a day - slightly more than the rate in the US, which has six times South Africa's 50million population.

Besides overcrowding, the prisons are blighted by gangs, corruption and inadequate staffing, the Judicial Inspectorate of Prisons says.- Reuters.

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