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WATCH | Up to 19,000 SA prisoners eligible for parole to ease jail overcrowding amid Covid-19

08 May 2020 - 17:41 By MultimediaLIVE

President Cyril Ramaphosa has authorised the consideration of parole for  selective low-risk offenders amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Turkey, Italy, Cameroon and France are among countries that have also done so.

Minister of correctional services Ronald Lamola elaborated on the president’s announcement on the conditional parole at a media briefing on Friday in Pretoria. Here are five key points from the briefing:

  1. Only low-risk qualifying sentence offenders who will reach their minimum sentence period in the next five years will be considered.
  2. About 19,000 prisoners will qualify for these considerations.
  3. This process will reduce overcrowding in prisons by 12.15%.
  4. Inmates will be required to provide verification of a home address before they are placed on parole.
  5. If parolees display behaviour that breaches the law, their parole will be revoked and they will be reincarcerated.

Minister Ronald Lamola highlighted that this parole will be conditional and that the process will allow for better ventilation in prisons and space to prepare quarantine sites for prisoners who are possibly infected with the coronavirus.