Medium B, which houses males, is more than 200% overcrowded.
Delivering the annual report of the Judicial Inspectorate of Prisons, Justice Johann van der Westhuizen said the reason for overcrowding varied from high crime levels to reluctance by the judiciary to grant bail for serious crimes, to the effects of minimum sentencing.
There are 29679 inmates in prisons, but only 20779 official bed spaces, reads the report. There are 16520 males and 594 females in prison in the Western Cape.
The Department of Correctional Services' annual performance plan for 2018/2019 stated that overcrowding was the main contributor to assault and escapes. Over the past three financial years, the Department reported an increase in the number of inmates who escaped, the number of assault injuries,, and the number of unnatural deaths.