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Dept fast-tracking inmate releases as prison COVID-19 cases rise

Correctional Services Department spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said that the department was working to speed up the release process while ensuring that measures, including victim participation and social reintegration programmes, were not compromised.

Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - The Correctional Services Department said that it was fast-tracking efforts to release more inmates as the number of coronavirus infections continued to rise in prisons.

Since President Cyril Ramaphosa authorised the parole of 19,000 inmates last month as a measure to combat the spread of COVID-19 behind bars, at least 2,280 parolees have been released.

Spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said that the department was working to speed up the release process while ensuring that measures, including victim participation and social reintegration programmes, were not compromised.

Nxumalo said that inmates eligible for release were those considered to be low-risk offenders.

"You will not find people who may have committed murders, serving life sentences or who may have any other crimes which are considered to be violent in nature and our Correctional Services officials are also there to reintegrate them into society and also to monitor them in case some do regress on their parole conditions."

To date, there have been 1,452 confirmed COVID-19 cases in prisons across South Africa.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.

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