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Parolees duck as DCS officials visit homes

A Pollsmoor prisoner on the floor as specialised officers search the cells for contraband. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency

A Pollsmoor prisoner on the floor as specialised officers search the cells for contraband. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency

Published Nov 29, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - Two parolees ran away from Department of Correctional Services (DCS) officials during a surprise visit to their homes.

Officials visited the homes of parolees in areas including Mitchells Plain, Bellville and Elsies River, as part of the Festive Season Security Operation (FSSO) by the department in the province.

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Correctional Services acting national commissioner Makgothi Thobakgale also visited Pollsmoor Prison as part of the operation.

The security operation was launched as part of efforts towards a safer festive season .

Awaiting trial inmates at Pollsmoor prison on the floor as Department of Correctional Services (DCS) staff conduct a search through a number of cells, looking for illegal objects and contraband as part of the Festive Season Security Operation (FSSO) in the province. Picture: Phando Jikelo/ African News Agency

In addition, to show the department’s work in preventing the smuggling of contraband, assault, gang initiations and escape attempts, Thobakgale said.

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During the parolee visit, two men, both convicted for rape, breached their parole by running away when officials visited them with forms to sign.

One of the men, out on parole for raping a minor, was rearrested. The other managed to escape.

Officials said both prisoners had previous warnings for not signing the form.

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“We are launching the festive season security campaign as part of the festive season safety and security drive,” Thobakgale said.

“The first operation was to go to the communities for a monitoring of our parolees to check if they comply with the conditions of the parole. We went into different locations such as Mitchells Plain, Bellville, Cape Town and Elsies River but what we were focusing on was whether they were complying with the conditions.”

The parolee who managed to evade arrest was being traced, Thobakgale said.

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“We are working together with the Saps in that work.

“The second part of our work was to go into correctional facilities themselves to conduct searches and what we were looking for are objects that are not supposed to be in our facilities - contrabands, sharp objects and illegal substances, and that helps us to keep our facilities safe,” said Thobakgale.

At Pollsmoor prison, illegal weapons, cellphones and drugs were discovered.

Illegal weapons, cellphones and drugs were discovered during the search operation. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency

Thobakgale said the prisoners who use illegal substances stand in the way of the programme that the department runs to rehabilitate offenders.

“To make sure that our offenders stay clean we have to go in and search their cells. Another important aspect of searching the cells is so we can be able to improve the conditions within which our offenders live,” he added.

Cape Times

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