Tuesday, January 29, 2013

DA: Independent investigations into prison violence necessary

Imogen Vollenhoven
29 January 2013

The Department of Correctional Services has strongly condemned recent riots in prisons.

Earlier this month, prisoners at the Groenpunt Correctional Centre at Deneysville in the Free State set fire to parts of the facility which resulted in three prisoners being killed and over 60 injured.

Last week, at least 20 inmates at Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town were injured when a riot broke out between inmates.

The Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister of Correctional Services James Selfe said the Correctional Services Department needs to conduct a thorough investigation about this.

Selfe Adds that It is of course absolutely essential that the situation is stabilized.

Selfe said prisons must be places of order and discipline, for the safety and good management of inmates and staff alike.

Futhermore Selfe said In particular as the DA  they empathise with the staff in the institutions affected for the conditions under which they are required to operate, which often involves exposure to violent, gang-involved inmates and remand detainees.

Self said that it is deeply concerning, however, that the Portfolio Committee is hesitant to discover these conditions for itself, and it is even more concerning that the Department is once more investigating itself.

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