Awaiting trial prisoners to wear uniforms

2013-09-06 10:21
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Johannesburg - Awaiting trial prisoners will in future be expected to wear uniforms to reduce the number of escapes, Beeld reported on Friday.

Correctional services department acting deputy chief commissioner of awaiting trial prisoners Willem Damons, said prisoners sometimes escaped unnoticed from custody because they wore ordinary clothes and it was not easy to distinguish between them and ordinary visitors.

He said the uniforms, which would be introduced in October, would be yellow.

The announcement on the introduction of yellow uniforms was contained in the White Paper on awaiting trial prisoners, which was approved on Wednesday by Cabinet.

Most of the provisions it contained had been included in a series of amendments to the Correctional Matters Amendment Act adopted by Parliament in May 2011.

Damons explained that the decision on the uniforms could not be applied earlier because they had experienced initial problems with the supply of materials for the uniforms.

He pointed out that the uniforms would not be worn during court appearances because of the principle that defendants were considered innocent until the court ruled otherwise.

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