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.