Roughly about 2,280 inmates were released after President Cyril Ramaphosa permitted parole for about 19,000 prisoners in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus in overcrowded facilities.
The Department of Correctional Services said it’s speeding up its procedures to release more inmates as coronavirus infections inside the prisons cell continue to rise.
Correctional services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said the department was working very hard inorder to fasten up the release process while making sure that measures including the victim participation and social reintegration programmes are not affected.
Nxumalo said only low-risk offenders qualify for the release programme.
“You will not find people who are in for murder or those who were sentenced to life or any other crimes that are of a violent nature. Our community correctional service officers are there to make sure that they are successfully re-integrated into society and also to watch over them if some of them do violate their parole conditions.”
As of now, there have been 1,452 confirmed COVID-19 cases in prisons in South Africa.