The recent spate of attacks in some of the biggest prisons in the country focus the attention directly on their managerial capabilities.
It is not acceptable that prisons can be overcrowded to the level that inmates must share beds or matrasses or sleep in shifts. These conditions will exacerbate unease and breed gangsterism.
The complaints of inmates usually center around accommodation space, food, medical attention, family concerns, idleness, assaults, etc. Complaints that can easily be solved through communication and regarding employment as a correctional official as a “calling”.
Pollsmoor, for the past 40 years is known for its overcrowding, but still not one of this highly paid officials can come up with a permanent solution to alleviate the challenge. The building of more prisons entered their minds, but prove fruitless too.
The time has come that prisoners must be accommodated in such a way that their incarceration can be beneficial to the communities they come from. Projects leading to food security for the hungry must be implemented to ensure no child goes to bed without a meal. The same with the manufacturing of school clothes and – shoes.
Gangsterism biggest contributor is idleness and fear, and as long there is no innovative thinking, planning and implementation from the side of senior management the age-old adage of prisons being universities of crime will continue. Finally, prisoners on release cannot enter a vacuum where there are no employment opportunities and the economic sphere is controlled by those who will never give them a second chance.