Only petty criminals will be released on ‘virus parole’ – Lamola


Only petty criminals will be released on ‘virus parole’ – Lamola

Ronald Lamola Minister of Justice and Correctional Services can be seen at GCIS throughout a press briefing , 16 December 2019, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Lamola stated essentially the most susceptible of those offenders, corresponding to these with underlying well being issues, the aged and feminine offenders with infants, will be prioritised.

Only offenders who dedicated petty crimes will be eligible to be included within the 19,000 inmates who will be released on parole to fight the unfold of Covid-19 in prisons.

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola and Correctional Services Commissioner Arthur Fraser briefed the media on Friday on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that he had authorised the discharge of low-risk inmates who’ve already served their minimal sentence, or who would strategy this era within the subsequent 5 years.

Lamola stated that roughly 19,000 inmates throughout the nation would profit from this determination, supplied they met necessities of the parole board.

“They will be thought-about on a case-by-case foundation and people who qualify will be positioned on parole after all of the due processes together with Victim Offender Dialogues, have accordingly unfolded,” Lamola stated.

Crimes of want

The solely inmates which can be eligible for launch are those that have been convicted and imprisoned for petty crime. Fraser described it as crimes of want.

These forms of crimes embody shoplifting, theft and trespassing.

Lamola stated that essentially the most susceptible of those offenders, corresponding to these with underlying well being issues, the aged and feminine offenders with infants, will be prioritised to be released in the course of the course of.

The minister reiterated that inmates serving sentences for offences, youngster abuse, homicide, tried homicide, armed theft, sedition, excessive treason, sabotage, terrorism, offenders sentenced to life imprisonment and people who had violated the Domestic Violence Act have been excluded from the Covid-19 parole dispensation.

Prisoners affected by this determination will not be pardoned or have their sentences remitted, as a substitute, they will be positioned on parole and will proceed to serve their sentence beneath group corrections till they attain their respective sentence expiry dates.


The determination to position 19,000 offenders on parole was made by Ramaphosa as a measure to mitigate the unfold of Covid-19 in jail services.

As of seven May, there are 172 confirmed circumstances of Covid-19 in correctional centres throughout the nation.

A breakdown by the division of correctional companies reveals that 95 officers and 77 inmates have examined constructive for the virus because the outbreak. There have additionally been three deaths resulting from Covid-19 within the jail system.

It is anticipated that these numbers will rise.

Lamola stated overcrowding in prisons offered a big problem within the combat in opposition to the unfold of Covid-19, as a result of the virus unfold faster in closed areas.

“Another exacerbating issue is that among the inmates have already got compromised immune programs, because of persistent situations.

“This makes them extra susceptible to Covid-19 and it may well have a catastrophic impact to inmates, officers, communities round correctional centres, in addition to the broader public.”

According to the minister, as of 4 May, prisons have been 32.58% overcrowded.

“We have a complete of 157,208 inmates, whereas our lodging capability is 118,572. This quantity features a whole of 56,536 inmates who’re in remand detention. This means our lodging capability is exceeded by 38,636 inmates,” Lamola stated.

“The DCS has regularly adopted a conscientious strategy in implementing its Covid-19 Disaster Management Response Strategy throughout all its centres and workplaces. This technique entails prevention, containment, therapy and restoration.

“We are confronted nevertheless, with the evident impossibility of sustaining bodily distancing in our centres resulting from overcrowding.”

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live at 2020-05-08 17:32:17



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