The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has supported the decision by President Cyril Ramaphosa to roll out a Covid-19 parole dispensation, set to release about 19,000 prisoners on parole.
Popcru spokesperson Richard Mamolo spoke to Jacaranda FM, and said the intervention would go a long way in easing the burden on frontline staff members.
“We further urge that those caught breaking lockdown rules should not be taken to police holding cells as they are equally crowded, and rather be charged through paying guilt fines in avoiding avoidable infections.”
Ramaphosa authorised the release of the prisoners to contain the spread of the virus in correctional services facilities, with confirmed cases in prisons now at 172.
The provision excludes those serving life imprisonment or serving terms for serious crimes, including sexual offences, murder, gender-based violence and child abuse.
Justice Minister Ronald Lamola provided further details on the plan.
“We are inculcating a restorative justice system. The restorative justice system sees crime as an act against the victim and shifts the focus to repairing the harm that has been committed against the victim and the community. It believes that the offender also needs assistance and seeks to identify what needs to be changed to prevent further re-offending,” as reported by EWN.
(Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele)