Prison Wiki

Pollsmoor Prison

Table of Contents


Welcome to our comprehensive guide to Pollsmoor Prison in South Africa. This guide is designed to provide detailed information about the facility for both inmates and their loved ones. Our goal is to offer essential knowledge on visitation procedures, communication options, financial support, and available resources to help everyone involved navigate their experience with Pollsmoor Prison.

Facility Details: Pollsmoor Prison

Pollsmoor Prison is a maximum-security correctional facility located in Tokai, a suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. The prison, known for its high-profile inmates, has played a significant role in the country’s history.

Location: Pollsmoor Rd, Tokai, Cape Town, 7966, South Africa

Contact information: +27 (0)21 700 1270

Establishment: Pollsmoor Prison was established in 1964 to accommodate male and female inmates, and has since become one of South Africa’s most well-known prisons.

Capacity and inmate population

The facility has a capacity of approximately 7,000 inmates. However, Pollsmoor Prison has experienced severe overcrowding in the past, with inmate populations sometimes exceeding its designated capacity.

Security level

Pollsmoor Prison is a maximum-security facility, housing inmates who have committed serious offenses and require a high level of supervision and control.

Notable inmates

Several prominent South African figures have been held at Pollsmoor Prison, including Nelson Mandela, who was incarcerated there for a portion of his 27-year imprisonment, and Walter Sisulu, an anti-apartheid activist.

Facility management

Pollsmoor Prison is managed by the South African Department of Correctional Services, which oversees the country’s prisons and is responsible for inmate rehabilitation and reintegration.

Facility divisions

The prison complex is divided into several sections, including Maximum, Medium A, Medium B, Medium C, and the Female facility. Each division houses inmates based on their security level, offense type, and rehabilitation needs.

Infrastructure and living conditions

Pollsmoor Prison is known for its challenging living conditions, including overcrowding, limited access to healthcare, and inadequate sanitary facilities. In recent years, efforts have been made to improve conditions, but challenges remain.

Rehabilitation and reintegration programs

Pollsmoor Prison offers various programs and services to promote rehabilitation and personal development, such as education, vocational training, substance abuse treatment, mental health care, and religious services.

By understanding the facility details of Pollsmoor Prison, you can better appreciate its role in the South African correctional system and the unique challenges faced by inmates and staff within its walls.

Visiting the Facility: Pollsmoor Prison

Visiting a loved one at Pollsmoor Prison can be an essential part of maintaining a strong connection and providing emotional support. To ensure a smooth and successful visit, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the prison’s visitation rules and procedures.

Visitation Hours:

Pollsmoor Prison allows visitations from Tuesday to Sunday, between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm. However, visiting schedules may vary depending on the inmate’s security level and housing location within the facility. It’s essential to confirm the visiting hours for your specific inmate by contacting the prison directly.

Required Documentation:

All visitors must present the following documents when visiting an inmate at Pollsmoor Prison:

  1. A valid government-issued identification (e.g., driver’s license, passport, or national ID card)
  2. Proof of relationship to the inmate (if applicable), such as a birth or marriage certificate
  3. A completed visitation application form, which can be obtained from the prison or downloaded from the Department of Correctional Services website

International visitors should be prepared to provide additional documentation, such as a valid passport and travel documents.

Visitation Rules and Guidelines:

To ensure the safety and security of all visitors, inmates, and staff, Pollsmoor Prison enforces the following visitation rules:

  1. Visitors must dress modestly and avoid clothing that is revealing, provocative, or displays offensive images or text.
  2. All visitors are subject to search upon entering the facility. This may include a pat-down, metal detector screening, or the use of a drug-sniffing dog.
  3. Visitors may not bring weapons, drugs, alcohol, or any other contraband into the facility.
  4. Personal belongings, such as bags, cell phones, and cameras, must be left in designated storage areas or in your vehicle.
  5. Visitors should arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled visit to allow time for processing and security checks.
  6. Physical contact between visitors and inmates is generally limited to a brief embrace at the beginning and end of the visit. Excessive physical contact may result in the termination of the visit.
  7. Visitors must adhere to all instructions given by prison staff and maintain appropriate behavior during the visit.

Special Accommodations:

If you have a disability or require special accommodations, contact Pollsmoor Prison in advance to discuss your needs and make appropriate arrangements. The prison will make every effort to ensure that your visit is accessible and comfortable.

By understanding the visitation procedures at Pollsmoor Prison and following the guidelines, you can help create a positive visiting experience for both you and your incarcerated loved one.

Inmate Communication: Pollsmoor Prison

Maintaining communication with an inmate at Pollsmoor Prison is crucial for providing emotional support and preserving a healthy relationship. The facility offers several options for staying connected, each with its own set of rules and guidelines.

Telephone Calls:

Inmates at Pollsmoor Prison have access to monitored telephone calls during designated hours. The facility may impose call duration limits, and calls may only be made to approved contacts on the inmate’s list. All calls are subject to monitoring and recording for security purposes. To receive calls from an inmate, you may need to set up a prepaid account with the prison’s designated telephone service provider.

Email Communication:

Pollsmoor Prison may provide access to email communication through a supervised system. Inmates are permitted to send and receive electronic messages, but the content is subject to monitoring and filtering for safety and security reasons. Keep in mind that there may be fees associated with sending and receiving emails, and these costs may be the responsibility of the inmate or the recipient.

Postal Mail:

Inmates at Pollsmoor Prison can send and receive letters through the postal mail system. All incoming and outgoing mail is inspected for contraband and content violations. When sending mail to an inmate, be sure to include their full name, identification number, and the facility’s mailing address:

[Inmate’s Full Name] [Inmate’s Identification Number] Pollsmoor Prison Pollsmoor Rd, Tokai Cape Town, 7966 South Africa

To ensure that your mail reaches the inmate, avoid sending prohibited items such as drugs, weapons, or explicit materials. Additionally, do not include any items that may be considered contraband or pose a security risk.

Rules and Restrictions:

Inmate communication at Pollsmoor Prison is subject to specific rules and restrictions to maintain the safety and security of the facility:

  1. Inmates are not allowed to have direct access to the internet or social media.
  2. The content of all communications, whether by phone, email, or postal mail, may be monitored, recorded, and reviewed by prison staff.
  3. Inappropriate, threatening, or harassing messages may result in disciplinary action against the inmate and could lead to communication privileges being revoked.

By understanding the various communication options available at Pollsmoor Prison and adhering to the guidelines, you can maintain a strong connection with your incarcerated loved one while supporting their emotional well-being.

Sending Money to Inmates: Pollsmoor Prison

Inmates at Pollsmoor Prison may require financial support for various expenses, such as purchasing items from the commissary, making phone calls, or accessing other services within the facility. To send money to an inmate, you can use one of the approved methods outlined below.

Electronic Transfers:

Services like MoneyGram or Western Union allow you to transfer funds directly to an inmate’s account. To send money using these services, you will need to provide the inmate’s full name, identification number, and the facility’s transfer code or required recipient information. Be aware that electronic transfer services typically charge transaction fees, which may vary depending on the amount being sent.

Postal Orders:

You can send a postal money order to Pollsmoor Prison, made payable to the inmate’s full name and identification number. Along with the money order, include a completed deposit slip with the inmate’s information and your contact details. Mail the money order and deposit slip to the following address:

[Inmate’s Full Name] [Inmate’s Identification Number] Pollsmoor Prison Pollsmoor Rd, Tokai Cape Town, 7966 South Africa

Fees and Processing Times:

Transaction fees and processing times may vary depending on the chosen method for sending money. Electronic transfers may be processed more quickly, with funds available to the inmate within a few hours or days, while postal money orders can take longer due to mailing and processing times.

Before sending money to an inmate at Pollsmoor Prison, it is important to familiarize yourself with the facility’s rules and regulations regarding inmate finances. Some prisons may have limits on the amount of money an inmate can receive or restrictions on how funds can be used. Always verify the information with the facility before initiating a transaction.

By providing financial support to an inmate at Pollsmoor Prison, you can help them access essential services and improve their overall well-being during their incarceration.

Inmate Programs and Services: Pollsmoor Prison

Pollsmoor Prison offers a variety of programs and services designed to support inmate rehabilitation, personal development, and reintegration into society. These programs aim to address the underlying issues that contribute to criminal behavior and help inmates acquire the necessary skills and resources for a successful transition upon release.

Educational Programs:

Pollsmoor Prison provides educational opportunities for inmates, including basic literacy courses, high school equivalency programs, and vocational training. These programs can help inmates improve their job prospects and self-sufficiency upon release.

Vocational Training:

Inmates at Pollsmoor Prison can participate in vocational training programs that teach valuable job skills in fields such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, and agriculture. These programs not only provide inmates with practical skills but also help them build a sense of accomplishment and self-worth.

Substance Abuse Treatment:

Pollsmoor Prison offers substance abuse treatment programs to help inmates address addiction issues and develop coping strategies for maintaining sobriety. These programs may include individual counseling, group therapy, and educational sessions on the impact of addiction and the recovery process.

Mental Health Services:

Inmates with mental health issues can access counseling, psychiatric care, and other therapeutic services at Pollsmoor Prison. These services aim to support the inmate’s mental well-being and address any underlying issues that may contribute to criminal behavior.

Religious Services:

Pollsmoor Prison recognizes the importance of spiritual growth and support for inmates. The facility offers religious services, study groups, and counseling for various faiths, allowing inmates to maintain and strengthen their spiritual beliefs during their incarceration.

Recreational Activities:

Inmates at Pollsmoor Prison can participate in recreational activities such as sports, art, and music programs. These activities provide a constructive outlet for stress, promote physical fitness, and encourage teamwork and cooperation among inmates.

Reentry Assistance:

As part of their commitment to supporting successful reintegration, Pollsmoor Prison provides resources and guidance to help inmates prepare for their release. This may include assistance with finding housing, employment, and community-based support services, as well as guidance on navigating the parole process.

By offering a diverse range of programs and services, Pollsmoor Prison aims to address the needs of inmates and support their rehabilitation and personal growth during their incarceration. Participation in these programs can greatly improve an inmate’s prospects for a successful transition back into society upon release.

Inmate Rights and Grievance Procedures: Pollsmoor Prison

Inmates at Pollsmoor Prison have certain rights and protections under South African law, as well as the international human rights framework. Understanding these rights and the grievance procedures in place can help inmates and their families advocate for fair treatment and address any concerns or violations that may occur during incarceration.

Inmate Rights:

Inmates at Pollsmoor Prison have the right to:

  1. Be treated with dignity and respect, free from torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
  2. Receive adequate food, clothing, and medical care, including mental health services.
  3. Access legal representation and resources, including the ability to communicate privately with their attorney.
  4. Practice their religion or beliefs, as long as doing so does not interfere with the security and order of the prison.
  5. Participate in available rehabilitation programs, such as education, vocational training, and substance abuse treatment.
  6. Be informed of the rules, regulations, and procedures governing their conduct and the operation of the facility.

Grievance Procedures:

If an inmate at Pollsmoor Prison believes their rights have been violated or they have a complaint, they can file a grievance through the facility’s established procedures. The grievance process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Submit a written complaint: Inmates should detail the issue, including relevant dates, times, and individuals involved, and submit the complaint to the appropriate department or staff member.
  2. Internal investigation: The prison will conduct an internal investigation to determine the validity of the complaint and decide on any necessary actions or resolutions.
  3. Appeal: If the inmate is unsatisfied with the outcome of the internal investigation, they can appeal the decision to a higher authority within the prison system, such as the regional or national Department of Correctional Services office.

Inmates should exhaust all available options within the prison grievance system before seeking external assistance, such as contacting a lawyer, human rights organization, or the media.

By understanding their rights and the grievance procedures at Pollsmoor Prison, inmates and their families can better advocate for fair treatment and hold the facility accountable for any violations or concerns that may arise during incarceration.

Family and Friends Support Resources: Pollsmoor Prison

Having a loved one incarcerated at Pollsmoor Prison can be challenging and emotionally taxing for family and friends. There are resources available to provide support, information, and guidance to help families navigate this difficult time and maintain their connection with the incarcerated individual.

Department of Correctional Services:

The South African Department of Correctional Services oversees the country’s prison system, including Pollsmoor Prison. Their website ( provides essential information about visiting procedures, inmate communication, and other resources for families.

Family Support Groups:

Joining a support group can be helpful for families dealing with the challenges of having a loved one incarcerated. These groups provide a safe space to share experiences, offer emotional support, and access practical advice from people in similar situations. Some non-profit organizations and community-based groups may offer support groups specifically for families of incarcerated individuals.

Legal Aid South Africa:

Legal Aid South Africa ( provides legal representation and assistance to those who cannot afford a private attorney. They can help families understand the legal process and navigate issues related to the incarceration of a loved one.

Counseling Services:

Dealing with the incarceration of a family member or friend can be emotionally challenging. Professional counseling services can provide valuable support and guidance for coping with feelings of grief, anger, and loss. Local community organizations or religious institutions may offer counseling services or referrals to mental health professionals with experience in supporting families affected by incarceration.

Community-Based Reintegration Programs:

Upon an inmate’s release from Pollsmoor Prison, community-based reintegration programs can provide essential support and resources to help them transition back into society. These programs may also offer assistance to family members, helping them understand the challenges their loved one may face and providing guidance on how to support their reintegration.

By accessing support resources and connecting with others who share similar experiences, family and friends of inmates at Pollsmoor Prison can find the strength and resilience to navigate the challenges of incarceration and maintain a strong connection with their incarcerated loved one.

Release and Reintegration: Pollsmoor Prison

The process of release and reintegration for inmates at Pollsmoor Prison involves multiple stages and requires careful planning and preparation. Successful reintegration is critical to reducing recidivism and supporting the individual’s long-term well-being. Pollsmoor Prison, along with community organizations, provides resources and assistance to help inmates transition back into society.

Pre-release Preparation:

As an inmate’s release date approaches, Pollsmoor Prison may offer pre-release programs and resources to help them prepare for life after incarceration. These programs may include:

  1. Reentry planning: Inmates work with prison staff or case managers to develop a reentry plan that addresses housing, employment, and other essential needs upon release.
  2. Life skills training: Inmates may receive training on essential life skills, such as budgeting, time management, and effective communication.
  3. Employment assistance: Inmates can access resources and guidance on job search strategies, resume writing, and interview skills.

Community-Based Reintegration Programs:

Upon release, former inmates can benefit from community-based reintegration programs, which offer a range of services and support tailored to their individual needs. These programs may include:

  1. Transitional housing: Some organizations provide temporary housing to help former inmates secure stable accommodation.
  2. Employment support: Reintegration programs may assist with job placement, vocational training, or education opportunities to improve employment prospects.
  3. Substance abuse treatment: For those dealing with addiction, community-based programs can offer ongoing counseling, support groups, and treatment services.
  4. Mental health services: Continued access to mental health care, including therapy and counseling, can be crucial for individuals dealing with the emotional challenges of reintegration.
  5. Family reunification support: Programs may offer counseling and guidance to help former inmates and their families rebuild relationships and navigate the challenges of reintegration together.

Parole and Supervision:

Depending on the terms of their release, some former inmates may be required to comply with parole or probation requirements. This may involve regular meetings with a parole officer, adherence to specific rules and conditions, and participation in mandated treatment or counseling programs.

By engaging in pre-release preparation and accessing available reintegration resources, former inmates at Pollsmoor Prison can overcome the challenges of transitioning back into society and build a successful, stable life post-incarceration. Support from family, friends, and community organizations can be instrumental in this process, providing the foundation for long-term success and well-being.

Contact Information for Pollsmoor Prison

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 44465, Claremont, 7735, South Africa
Telephone Numbers: +27 21 700 1270
Email Address:

Office Hours of Pollsmoor Prison

Weekday Office Hours: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Weekend Office Hours: Closed

Contacting Specific Departments

Administration: +27 21 700 1271
Inmate Services: +27 21 700 1272
Visitation Scheduling: +27 21 700 1273
Medical Department: +27 21 700 1274

Emergency Contact Information

Emergency Hotline Number: 0800 222 222
After-hours Contact: +27 21 700 1275

Additional Contact Resources

Prison Website:

Frequently Asked Questions: Pollsmoor Prison

Below are some common questions and answers related to Pollsmoor Prison that can help provide clarity and guidance for those seeking information about the facility and its policies.

Q: How can I find out if someone is incarcerated at Pollsmoor Prison?

A: To confirm if someone is incarcerated at Pollsmoor Prison, you can contact the facility directly or check the South African Department of Correctional Services’ inmate locator service, if available. When inquiring, be prepared to provide the individual’s full name and date of birth or identification number.

Q: What items can I send to an inmate at Pollsmoor Prison?

A: Inmates at Pollsmoor Prison can receive letters, photos, and approved publications through the mail. However, there are strict regulations regarding the content and size of these items. Be sure to check the facility’s specific guidelines before sending anything. In general, avoid sending contraband, explicit materials, or items that may pose a security risk.

Q: Can I visit an inmate at Pollsmoor Prison?

A: Yes, visitation is allowed at Pollsmoor Prison. However, you must follow the facility’s guidelines regarding visitation hours, rules, and procedures. Visitors are typically required to be on the inmate’s approved visitor list and must present valid identification upon arrival. Be prepared for security checks and ensure that you adhere to the dress code and other regulations.

Q: How can I send money to an inmate at Pollsmoor Prison?

A: You can send money to an inmate at Pollsmoor Prison through electronic transfer services like MoneyGram or Western Union or by mailing a postal money order. Make sure you have the inmate’s full name, identification number, and the necessary transfer codes or recipient information before initiating a transaction.

Q: Are there educational and vocational programs available for inmates at Pollsmoor Prison?

A: Yes, Pollsmoor Prison offers various educational and vocational programs, including basic literacy courses, high school equivalency programs, and vocational training in fields such as carpentry, plumbing, and agriculture. These programs aim to improve inmates’ job prospects and self-sufficiency upon release.

Q: What resources are available for families of inmates at Pollsmoor Prison?

A: Families of inmates at Pollsmoor Prison can access information and resources from the South African Department of Correctional Services, support groups, Legal Aid South Africa, counseling services, and community-based reintegration programs. These resources can help families navigate the challenges of having a loved one incarcerated and maintain a strong connection with the inmate.

For additional information or clarification on specific policies, contact Pollsmoor Prison or the South African Department of Correctional Services directly. They can provide the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the facility and its procedures.

By using this comprehensive guide, we hope to provide you with the necessary information and resources to better understand Pollsmoor Prison, support your incarcerated loved one, and navigate the complexities of the prison system.

Relevant Articles
Stateville Correctional Center Prison Wiki

Stateville Correctional Center

Stateville Correctional Center, located in Crest Hill, Illinois, is one of the state’s most prominent prison facilities. With a rich history and commitment to maintaining