Recent statistics, provided by the Department of Correctional Services, showed that there are a significant number of children (persons under the age of 18) and juveniles (people between the ages of 18 and 20 years) who are detained in Western Cape prisons.
The remanded and sentenced children are currently detained in Brandvlei Youth, Drakenstein Medium B, Pollsmoor Medium A and Mosselbaai prisons.
Of those remanded detainees, nine are children, 799 juveniles and 2 405 are between 21 and 25 years old. Of those sentenced, seven are children, 387 juveniles and 2 742 are between the ages of 21 and 25 years.
Minister of Community Safety Albert Fritz has expressed concern over these stats and called for leniency by making incarceration the last option.
Fritz said: “The bedrock of a safe society is one where there is a compendium of services, opportunities and support for all young people.
“This requires families, religious organisations, NGOs, private business, government and good citizens to work Better Together to safeguard our young people, give them positive alternatives and keep them away from gangs, criminal syndicates and drug dealers”.