Society urged to embrace and accept the inmates released on amnesty

The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) on Thursdays  released a total of 4270 inmates under a presidential amnesty.

The move brings down overcrowding in the country which numbers over 50 detention centres, that have capacity for about 17 000 people but held more than 22 000 before the amnesty.

The majority of inmates released under the amnesty by the President are male 4166 compared to females 104. Harare has the highest number of pardoned criminals 790 while Mat South has the lowest 131.

In a statement by the ZPCS spokesperson Meya Khanyezi appealed to the society at large to accept the inmates who’ve been released.

 “We would like to appeal to close family members, stakeholders and the society at large to embrace and accept the inmates who have been released on amnesty. Successful reintegration of inmates to society is not the sole mandate of ZPCS alone but it requires combined efforts from all citizens of Zimbabwe.

“These inmates were being rehabilitated and have been serving the offences they committed against the state therefore those aggrieved are encouraged to forgive them for their successful reintegration into the society,” he said.

The amnesty was granted to various categories of prisoners including those who have served at least three-quarters of their sentence, or one tenth if over the age of 60.

Violent criminals as well as those serving time for robbery, treason and public order and security offences were excluded.

Any prisoner who has previously been released under an amnesty, anyone serving a term imposed by a court martial, anyone with a history of eluding lawful custody, and any prisoner convicted of committing a specific offense are all excluded from the amnesty.

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