100s of potential medical parolees

2012-05-16 22:54

Cape Town - Almost 300 prison inmates are potential candidates for medical parole under the new medical parole policy which came into effect on March 1, MPs heard on Wednesday.

Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula revealed this in the National Assembly during debate on her budget vote.

She said her department had, in accordance with the new policy, appointed the medical parole advisory board, chaired by Dr Victor Ramathesele.

This was an independent panel of medical doctors who considered and decided on all medical aspects in the applications for placement on parole based on medical grounds.

"Only after their input, may a parole board consider such an application and decide in terms of the broader criteria for placement," said the minister.

"It is estimated that there are potentially 298 inmates in our facilities who can be considered for medical parole under the new framework."

The pilot project for electronic monitoring (when minor offenders wear electronic bracelets, which restrict their movements to designated areas) of certain categories of inmates placed on parole, launched on February 14, had been a resounding success.

It was now time to extend electronic monitoring to other categories of offenders, including offenders still serving custodial sentences in prisons.

"It is our plan that this rollout should be finalised in this financial year."

The department would also propose to the justice, crime prevention, and security (JCPS) cluster to consider using electronic monitoring as part of alternative sentencing for minor offences.

This would ensure that only those who had committed serious offences served a custodial (prison) sentence.

- SAPA

Read more on:    nosiviwe mapisa-nqakula  |  prisons
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