Report highlights prison warders’ shocking work conditions

“On a daily basis, when you put on a uniform you don’t know whether you will be going back home or if you will be taken to the hospital,” one officer told the researchers. The report reveals that: ý Between four and 14 warders supervise 1 200 to 1 400 prisoners on any given day;

  1. At night there is a stark absence of staff;
  2.  Officers on night duty often work two 18-hour shifts back to back; and
  3.  During the weekend, only half of the officers are on duty.
Last week, 10 prison warders were the victims of a suspected gang-related attack at Drakenstein prison, in the Western Cape.

The Department of Justice and Correctional Services reported in its 2013-14 annual report that 682 of its 41 825 staff members were injured on duty in that year.