30 January 2013

South Africa: Smuggling of Contraband in Prisons Must Be Eradicated

press release

The IFP calls on the Department of Correctional Services to implement more stringent measures in the fight against smuggling of dangerous weapons, drugs and cell phones into prisons.

IFP Spokesperson on Correctional Services, Mr Velaphi Ndlovu, MP said, "This issue implicates some officials and visitors in criminal activities. Visitors should be properly searched and monitored to ensure that they do not pass along any contraband. Their food parcels must be scanned before they are given to inmates in order to ensure that no items are hidden within the food. These illegal items pose a threat to the security of other prisoners and prison warders."

From inmate attacks to drug sales the prisons no longer seem capable of deterring criminal activity. Correctional Services needs to facilitate rehabilitation instead of being a festering ground for more sophisticated criminal activities.

"The recent prison violence in Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town, where an inmate was stabbed 21 times, is a grave wake up call to the government. Pollsmoor prison management must also find a way to disband the operations of gangs in this prison as they breed a culture of violence even within the prison walls. And any official found to have been involved in the smuggling in of weapons must not only be dismissed but must also face the full might of the law," said Ndlovu.

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