Overcrowding at Pollsmoor Prison down to 161%, says Sonke Gender Justice

Pollsmoor Prison is on the right track and has reduced its overcrowding to 161% at its remand detention facility, says Sonke Gender Justice.

Read: Pollsmoor Prison has two weeks to reduce overcrowding

Sonke's national prisons specialist Ariane Nevin says the prison facility is doing well and hopes it will reach 150% capacity by June.

There's been a very steady downward trend since the court order. We are welcoming the progress.

Ariane Nevin, national prisons specialist at Sonke Gender Justice

In December, the Western Cape High Court ruled that the conditions at the remand detention facility at Pollsmoor Prison were unconstitutional.

Lobby groups, including Sonke Gender Justice, argued that detainees awaiting-trial are routinely denied basic amenities to which they are entitled by law.

Also read: Warder recalls "prison hell" as he retires after four decades at Pollsmoor

At the time of the case, the remand detention facility was at 249% and the court gave Pollsmoor six months to address this and get the numbers down to 150%.

According to Nevin, the correctional services ministry has relocated many inmates to other prison facilities in other provinces.

She says there needs to be a comprehensive plan to reduce the systemic causes of overcrowding in the prison systems.

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