Will prisoners not get parole because of the five escapees?
June 1, 2002
Letters on the daily grind
My father is a convicted prisoner, who has been incarcerated for several years.
My father under the encouragement of my mother applied for parole. Somewhat reluctant at first, he applied and went through with the necessary procedures.
Our family including my father became very optimistic when it was printed in this newspaper that the parole board was operational.
However, my father has since informed my mother that due to the recent prison escape of the five prisoners, he doesn't think the parole board will grant liberty under the Parole Act. Why must my father suffer in prison for the actions of others? He didn't cooperate or collaborate with any of the escapes.
Could the Minister of Home Affairs and the Parole Board members use the Parole Act 24, 1991 to reform and to reintroduce prisoners to their communities and families.
(Name and address provided)
An official in the Ministry of Home Affairs in response to the above letter, told this newspaper that parole decisions were in no way affected by the escape of the five prisoners.
The official said that parole was not automatic, and that there were sometimes hold-ups in the parole system process. For example, it was indicated that the board was encountering problems in getting recommendations from 'prominent citizens' who have to vouch for the prisoner while on parole, and who have to agree to help in the rehabilitation process.