SA has one of highest prison ratios

Johannesburg - South Africa has one of the highest percentages of citizens in prisons in the world, the SABC reported on Tuesday.

The country has one of the highest incarceration rates in Africa and in the world with about 3.5 out of 1 000 citizens being in our correctional centres, director of the Judicial Inspectorate of Prisons, Morris Coetzee, told Parliament on Wednesday.

He said there was a marked improvement in the reduction of overcrowding in prisons.

Overcrowding, he said, had been reduced from 170% to 139% of prison capacity.

"Now that's significant especially if you consider that world-wide correctional centres are suffering from overcrowding at an increasing number.

"We have reformed from international trends in that regard," he said.

- A previous version of this story stated that SA has the highest percentage of prisoners in the world.

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