Over 500 inmates die in South African prisons every year - survey

Statistics recorded from 2015 to 2018 by the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services show that more than 550 inmates die in South Africa’s 243 correctional centres every year.

JICS mandatory reports manager Professor Mohlaba says the reason for these deaths varies from pulmonary diseases, renal failure, meningitis, to tuberculosis and pneumonia.

The highest number of deaths, however, are due to inmates killing one another.

He says the deaths are not really related to lack of care at these correctional centres.

Read: Prison chaplain gives inmates a voice in book about reform in SA prison system

If the correctional centres are not able to take care of an inmate he will be transferred to public facilities for further management.

Professor Mohlaba, Mandatory reports manager - JICS

What can be done to reduce the number of deaths at correctional centres?

There should be better assessments of inmates when they are admitted at the centres to have early detection of what kind of illnesses the inmates have.

Professor Mohlaba, Mandatory reports manager - JICS

And when it comes to inmate-on-inmate deaths, maybe we can introduce a programme to have them doing something rather than sitting in idle on day-to-day.

Professor Mohlaba, Mandatory reports manager - JICS

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:


This article first appeared on 702 : Over 500 inmates die in South African prisons every year - survey


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