Only a total of 1680 inmates are eligible for the presidential amnesty that was supposed to see ZPCS releasing 5000 inmates to decongest prisons, The Herald reports.
The matter came to light after the justice department ran a survey to see how many people had served half their sentences. Of the 1680 people who passed the amnesty test only 53 women are eligible to be released.
According to Justice Ministry’s Virginia Mabhiza:
We had targeted the release of 5 000 prisoners, but most of the inmates failed to meet the standards, resulting in a few qualifying.
In the past, we used to release those who had served at least a third of their sentences, but this time we tried to balance the interests and raised the bar to half sentences.
Many women are now participating in robberies, murder, public violence and other serious offences, which disqualifies them from this year’s amnesty. We cannot just release all women when they are committing serious offences
According to the publication inmates who meet the following criterion were supposed to be released:
- People not found guilty of the specified offences that generally cover crimes of violence
- Women prisoners who have served at least half their effective sentence
- Juvenile prisoners who have served a third
- Those sentenced to 36 months or less who have served half
- Those over 70 who have served half.
More: The Herald