This past week the Department of Correctional Services conducted a special search exercise at various Correctional Centres including the Johannesburg Correctional Centre as part of the festive season Safety programme.

The department launched Operation Vala, a campaign to prevent escapes and assaults at the country’s 248 prisons.

Deputy Justice and Correctional Services Minister Thabang Makwetla says this is a yearly intervention to step up security measures in correctional centres.

He says this is to make sure that there’s more adherences to procedures but also to remove all items that can be used to cause violence within correctional centres.

“Things like drugs but also instruments that are sharp, instruments of all sorts that offenders can use to hurt each other must be removed,’ says Makwetla.