Suicides by mentally-ill patients are on the increase in correctional centres nationwide. That is according to the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services which has released its annual report in Pretoria.

According to the report 75% of suicides were as a result of hanging. Unnatural deaths due to gang violence have also increased with Gauteng having the highest number of cases.

Inspecting Judge Johan van der Westhuizen says overcrowding is the cause of almost all the challenges that prisons are facing.

“Overcrowding could only be solved through a well-coordinated process involving all role players, from social workers to judges, from the time of arrest up to the time of release.”