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Correctional Services ‘doing all it can’ to ease overcrowding in SA prisons

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Since the coronavirus outbreak, more than 10,000 officials and inmates have been infected with the virus – more than 200 have died.

CAPE TOWN – The Correctional Services Department said that it was doing all it could to reduce overcrowding in prisons.

Correctional facilities are said to be the perfect breeding ground for COVID-19, with 934 active cases of the coronavirus in the country’s prisons.

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has said it was worried.

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To this end, it has called for the immediate removal of Correctional Service Commissioner Arthur Fraser.

Since the outbreak, more than 10,000 officials and inmates have been infected with the virus – more than 200 have died.

Correctional Service Department officials make up the majority of the cases and deaths.

Popcru’s Richard Mamabolo said that there was a spike when all prison officials were ordered to return to work.

“After agreeing that we’re going to be having 50% on rotation, on a weekly basis, the commissioner then went ahead without consulting any stakeholders and called all our members back to work. In that period alone, we saw a rise in the numbers of infections.”

The union said that Fraser was out of touch with the deteriorating conditions in prisons and should be sacked.

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Meanwhile, Correctional Services said overcrowding had been reduced by over 15% and said infection prevention control measures were being ramped up at reception areas, cells, offices, vehicles and ablution facilities.

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