Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has on Monday said that it strongly condemned the weekend stabbing of five prison warders who were attacked when they tried to stop a fight between inmates at the Sun City correctional facility in Johannesburg.
POPCRU said warders and prisoners were injured in the ensuing melee. Warders with serious stab wounds were taken to the Mulbarton Hospital.
The union said the attack on the warders was planned by gangs inside the prison, who took advantage of the reduced number of guards during weekends.
“This altercation happened at a time when half of the staff complement was off-duty in line with the Department of Correctional Services’ (DCS) shift pattern model, with a small number of officials having to overlook just below 500 inmates in the specific section that saw this altercation,” said Popcru.
“We have on numerous occasions raised with the DCS that there are no proper shift patterns, as they cause staff shortage on a regular basis.”
The union said the challenges were compounded by understaffing and overcrowding within correctional facilities.
“We need proper strategies to deal away with gangsterism within correctional facilities and that can only be achieved by employing proper rehabilitation processes and not the installation of surveillance facilities. The DCS needs to focus on its core business of rehabilitating inmates.”
The union said inmates should not remain indolent in correctional facilities but do consistent work that will ensure these facilities become self-sufficient.
– African News Agency (ANA)