CONCERNS have again been raised by the Lautoka Correction Centre with regards to overcrowding at the Natabua Prison.
This issue was previously highlighted by this newspaper in February last year when prisoners at the centre exceeded the 134 inmate capacity that the centre can accommodate.
In a recent release by the centre, the overcrowding issue still remains a matter of concern.
Western Division Corrections spokesman Semesa Uluiviti confirmed that a total of 324 inmates were at the centre as of yesterday.
This is more than double the approved total capacity of 134 inmates -for remand and convicted prisoners- at the prison. "We have 18 inmates approved capacity at the remand centre which currently holds 125 remand inmates as of today (yesterday)," said Mr Uluiviti.
"We have 114 approved capacity for convicted prisoners but we currently have 199 convicts so far in the prison. The remand inmates are also fast increasing and this is beyond our control," he said.
Mr Uluiviti said the centre had worked out a strategy to accommodate all the 324 inmates at the 134 approved capacity.
"We are aware of the overcrowding but we also have contingency plans to accommodate all inmates. One of the measures we have put in place is the transfer all inmates serving more than two years to Suva."