FILE: Pollsmoor Prison. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN – The Correctional Services Department says Cape Town needs a new, 3000-bed prison in the medium to long term.

Briefing members of Parliament (MPs) on Tuesday, on progress made to reduce overcrowding at Pollsmoor Prison since a December court order to improve conditions, the department says it’s already halved the inmate population.

There are currently 2,637 prisoners accommodated at the facility, a thousand more than it was designed for.

Pollsmoor was intended to accommodate 1619 offenders when it was opened in 1975.

The department told the parliamentary portfolio committee that only awaiting-trial detainees are currently being held at Pollsmoor.

Prisoners serving sentences have been moved to other prisons in the province and the Northern Cape.

Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo says the department is on track to reducing overcrowding to below 150% of capacity before the end of May.

“We would also like to take this plan to other provinces to make it a point that overcrowding becomes a thing of the past in our facilities.”

The department has to report back to the Western Cape High Court next month on its improvements at Pollsmoor since the order was made.


-Eye Witness News

PHOTO:  Pollsmoor Prison. Picture: EWN


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