The influx of prisoners continues to be a problem at the notorious Pollsmoor Correctional Services prison. The prison is currently holding almost double the amount of inmates than it can accommodate. Pollsmoor is currently housing 7,477 inmates, but it only has bed space for 4,336 people.
After many long meetings with the department and many prison inspections, the Western Cape High Court in December ordered that sentence offenders are to be transferred to surrounding prisons. The prisoners are to be transferred out of medium A and the admission centre.
Acting regional commissioner, Freddie Engelbrecht said 600 prisoners have been transferred within the province to prisons in Worcester, Oudtshoorn and George. Meanwhile 800 will be transferred from admission centre to medium A after a weekend. Medium A is predominantly a juvenile centre, so to allow for space for remand detainees from the admission centre to medium A.
The aim is to reduce the number of inmates from 247% to 150%. They are currently at 185%.
“We tried to transfer people away from Pollsmoor because the instruction of the judge was that we should reduce the number of offenders,” said Engelbrecht.
The final decision to transfer prisoners was made because of many inspections of Pollsmoor regarding the services and upkeep of the prison. In October it was noted that improvements needed to be made to ensure smooth running of the prison. Violence broke between a few of the prisoners resulting in three deaths. Following the violence was yet another inspection of the prison’s facilities.
Engelbrecht said Pollsmoor continues to transfer inmates with hopes that they will reach the 150% target. VOC