EL prison riot under investigation

19:01 (GMT+2) Thu, 06 Dec 2018

Inmates at the East London Maximum Correctional Centre rioted this past week setting fire to mattresses and damaging cells in protest over overcrowding and other issues.

The Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services said it received a report on Thursday on the incident two days ago as well as a report on the “use of force” to quell the protest.

JICS said the preliminary report emanated from grievances that were submitted by the Participative Management Committee to the Department of Correctional Services Area Management Team on the 7 November 2018.

“Some of the demands included the removal of the Centre Management, complaints about the quality of the food and overcrowding to mention but a few,” JICS said in a statement.

It said that prison management decided to give feedback to the inmates per communal cell rather than address them in one group as they had demanded, sparking the protest.

Several inmates were injured after the Head of the Correctional Centre authorised the use of force as the situation intensified.

JICS said inmates also went on the rampage in November.

The Inspectorate said among the reasons for an increase in incidents in prisons is that inmates want to be with their families during the festive season “which generally creates more tension" in prisons.