Pollsmoor Prison has two weeks to reduce overcrowding

According to Ariane Nevin, Sonke's National Prisons Specialist, the conditions at Pollsmoor prison are really appalling.

Prison cells that were designed to house 25 people are currently housing 55-75 people, with prisoners unable to move freely or sleep comfortably.

On Monday, Sonke Gender Justice won a case challenging poor conditions at the Pollsmoor Remand Detention Facility in the Cape Town High Court.

Judge Vincent Saldanha said government has two weeks to show why it cannot immediately reduce the number of detainees at the facility to not more than 120% of the approved number.

Nevin says the Correctional Services Act makes provisions for amendments of jail conditions if someone has been in remand for longer than two years or the prison is too overcrowded that it threatens the health and safety of inmates.

The prison head can apply for bail conditions to be amended to relieve overcrowding.

Ariane Nevin, Sonkes National Prisons Specialist

There are also issues like decriminalisation of petty offenses and granting of bail for non-violent offenses like loitering, sex work, and offenses that are not a threat to the community.

Ariane Nevin, Sonkes National Prisons Specialist

Listen below to hear more about the Pollsmoor prison conditions:

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