Parole to 19 000 prisoners undermines criminal justice system

2020-05-08
Dr Pieter Groenewald

The FF Plus condemns the principle that prisoners are released due to the overpopulation of prisons, because it undermines the criminal justice system. The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, announced today that 19 000 prisoners will be released on early parole.

The government is letting the people of South Africa down by not building enough prisons and as a result, criminals are now being released into our society on early parole.

The FF Plus insists that parole boards must adhere strictly to the legal prescriptions when they make decisions about granting parole and the Minister of Justice must not interfere in the process. It could pave the way for irregularities, like favouring persons who do not deserve to be released on parole.

According to Minister Lamola, persons who are imprisoned for "less serious crimes", like theft and trespassing, will be considered for parole.

He added that the persons who will be released will still have to do community service in compliance with the Covid-19 regulations.

The FF Plus is of the opinion that offences, like theft and trespassing, are not necessarily less serious.

Prisoners who already qualify for parole should rather be considered as candidates to be released on early parole.

The FF Plus will monitor the situation to ensure that the release of prisoners on parole does not create even greater problems than what the country is already having to deal with.


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