Correctional Facilities Are 200% Overcrowded

Correctional Facilities Are 200% Overcrowded

Zambia Correctional Service (ZCS) Commissioner General Percy Chato says correctional facilities in the country continue grappling with overcrowding.

Speaking during the commemoration of the human rights day in Lusaka, Mr. Chato says correctional facilities in the country are currently holding over 21, 000 inmates against a holding capacity of 8,550.

He explains that the scenario entails that the facilities are over 200 percent overcrowded.

Mr. Chato states that where overcrowding is persistent, violation of human rights and the spread of communicable diseases are inevitable.

He says in as much as a lot has been done in the correctional facilities, the entire service grapples with inadequate staffing levels to undertake rehabilitation activities, inadequate transport for effective operations and lack of starter packs for inmates that have undergone rehabilitation and have been released from the facilities.

The country joins the rest of the World in commemorating the human rights day which falls on 10th December, but the commemorations have been brought forward to 8th December, as the 10th will be on a Sunday.

And speaking at the same event, Human Rights Commission senior Investigative Officer Kebby Malila has disclosed that the Zambia Correctional Service has not been providing inmates on Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART) with sufficient food.

Mr. Malila says even though the service has been seen to be upholding human rights in correctional facilities, failing to provide people on ART with sufficient food is in itself a violation of human rights.