Jailhouse shock: security nightmare at prisons

Holes in the fence, body scanners, biometric finger-reading and cellphone and metal detectors are among the security features not working at St Albans prison in the Eastern Cape.

This month, a prisons official was caught by colleagues smuggling in 16 cellphones, cellphone chargers, starter packs and drugs as he entered the prison’s premises. He has since been suspended.

The unnerving security situation is owing to contractual disputes with the security systems service provider, says Correctional Services spokesperson Logan Maistry. It means “the maintenance contract is not being implemented”.

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