POPCRU decries shrinking prison staff numbers

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Following the appointment of Pieter Groenewald as Minister of Correctional Services, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) has demanded the employment of more custodial officers in South Africa’s prisons in the face of overcrowding and short-staffing.

The union in a statement said the staff complement that stood at 40 000 in 2009 is currently standing at 38 000 with only 27 000 officials working at the coalface of correctional centres, and demanded the employment of more custodial officers.

“We have on various occasions expressed that the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) must not renew the contracts of private prisons in the country, and should develop a clear plan that will include admitted trade unions within the department on the winding-up process,” stated POPCRU’s Media and Communications Officer Richard Mamabolo.

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