More correctional services officials for prisons
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CAPE TOWN: There is good news for prisons in the country, after 1 068 correctional officials came on board today.
The announcement was made by Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola today.
This was followed by previous 923 officers, who joined the ranks in June this year.
Richard Mamabolo, of Police and Prison Rights (Popcru), said the aim was to reduce the workload for officials.
During an annual report by the Judicial Inspectorate of Prisons in 2019, it was said that there were 29 679 inmates in prison, with only 20 779 official bed spaces, with 16 520 males and 594 females in the Western Cape.
Mamabolo added that the new officers would help with the overcrowding and under-staffing: “Popcru is elated over the planned absorption of the 1 068 fully-fledged correctional officials, who will today be officially welcomed by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola.
“This follows the earlier absorption of the other group, consisting of 923 officers, who were officially incorporated into the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), in June 2021.
“It has always been in our country’s interest to ensure the speedy absorption of these officers, with the view of reducing the overburdened challenges around overcrowding and under-staffing within our correctional centres, which will minimise incidents of altercations and security breaches.
“POPCRU has been unwavering in its call for the department to absorb these officers, as it has always been the only way within which the department can add to its staff complement of cadets, who are then trained to understand and effectively manage the environment within correctional centres.
“We are encouraged that they will add to the much-needed value to the department in our common quest to ensure the core function of the DCS priority – to rehabilitate – is attainable, and would like to show gratitude for their patience throughout the course of this difficult and strenuous process, wherein different interests had tried in vain to utilise these cadets' plight for political mileage,” said Mamabolo.