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Parliament, Cape Town - The latest figures show there are more than 156 000 inmates in prisons around the country, more than a quarter of whom are awaiting-trial prisoners.
“As at August 20 (this year), there are a total of 156 370 inmates in our correctional facilities, of which 112 416 are sentenced offenders, and 43 954 are remand detainees,” Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said.
In a written reply to a parliamentary question, tabled on Tuesday, he said his department was committed to reducing overcrowding in its facilities.
“The (department) committed itself to reduce the level of overcrowding by at least two percent per annum in order to comply with the constitutional requirement to detain inmates under humane conditions.”
Ndebele said correctional services had managed to reduce overcrowding in prisons from 38 percent in 2007/08, “to 28 percent as on July 30 (this year)”.