The Department of Correctional Services said Wednesday that 6,128 inmates have so far been released on parole to curb the spread of Covid-19 in prisons.
Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa announced in May that 19,000 “low-risk” prisoners would be released on parole in 10 weeks. He said the decision was taken following a request by the United Nations to reduce population numbers in prisons in the fight against Covid-19.
“We have already released 6,128 prisoners. It requires a careful process involving victim-offender mediation and DNA samples must be taken by the police, ”the department said. “Prisoners who are released are those who have undergone the relevant rehabilitation programs to correct their behavior.”
The department said its disaster management strategy continues at its 243 correctional centers nationwide. The strategy focuses on the well-being of prisoners and officers. “All prisoners have access to quality health care, in accordance with the provisions of the United Nations minimum standards for the treatment of prisoners.”
According to the department, at least 3,688 cases have already been reported in the industry.