The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to grant parole to 19 000 inmates as part of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The low-risk inmates, who have served their minimum detention period, will be released on parole and the process will be in effect over the next 10 weeks.
The move follows concerns that overcrowding and under staffing was putting a great risk to the health of both inmates and correctional officials, with 172 COVID-19 positive cases reported so far.
“This very important intervention will go a long way in easing the burden frontline staff members of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) have had to endure,” says Popcru in a statement.
In this video below, the Correctional Services Minister elaborates on government’s decision to release petty crime offenders:
Poprcu is urging authorities not to take those caught breaking lockdown rules to the police holding cells as they are equally crowded. The union suggests that they rather be fined.