South Africa's parole system to be revised

Cape Town – Acting Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Faith Muthambi on Monday announced that the department is in the process of finalising a position document for the redrafting of the country's parole system.

"It is commonly recognised that the current parole system, which [was] introduced in 2004, is regarded as outdated, and in need of revision," Muthambi said in a statement.

South Africa's current parole system was put in place by the Correctional Services Act in 1998, but only came into effect in 2004.

Muthambi said the previous minister of justice and correctional services, Michael Masutha, requested a review of the parole system after discovering inefficiencies within parole boards.

A task team concluded its investigation in February 2017 and the document has been submitted for input from role players, Muthambi said.

"Once feedback has been received from the relevant role players, the draft position paper will be amended before re-submission to the executive for approval," she said.

Following the position paper, legislation can be drafted and sent to Parliament.

Muthambi also revealed that the number of prisoners in South Africa increased from 74 435 in 1965/66 to 159 331 in 2015/16.

During the same period, overcrowding in prisons was reduced from 40.25% to 33.74%, she said.

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