Prisoners cost R9?834 a month

2013-10-02 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The state each month spends R834 on each of the 157 000 prisoner currently incarcerated.

But indirectly, the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) spends R9 000 a month to keep each prisoner behind bars. The annual report by the Office of the Inspecting Judge in the Judicial Inspectorate of Prisons shows that 104 670 prisoners had been sentenced and 48 379 were awaiting trial.

Nandi Mareka, acting financial head of the the DCS, yesterday explained that direct monthly costs of R834,60 were for food, clothes and personal articles.

The indirect costs were made up by salaries of staff, accommodation and rehabilitation. These costs do not increase in proportion to the the number of inmates. The average time for an accused’s case to progress from being held in custody awaiting trial to the finalising of the trial was two to three years.

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