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Society blamed as 168 amnesty beneficiaries back in jail

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  • Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) spokesperson, Superintendent Meya Khanyezi, said some of the inmates could have committed these offences because society failed to accommodate them.

AT least 168 prisoners are back behind bars barely a year after receiving Presidential pardons in May last year.

The prisoners were part of 4 208 inmates that were released from prisons nationwide in efforts to decongest the facilities, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 168 were arrested for charges ranging from unlawful entry, theft and assault.

Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) spokesperson, Superintendent Meya Khanyezi, said some of the inmates could have committed these offences because society failed to accommodate them.

“It is heart-breaking to see them back behind bars. However, it is key that we look closely at the circumstances that led them to commit offences again.

“Our communities are still to learn to embrace ex-convicts thus most are left with no choice but to commit more crimes and go back to prison,” she said.

The prisons’ population currently stands at 20 101 against a holding capacity of 17 000.

Meanwhile, Khanyezi said the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made life unbearable for inmates as supplies from well-wishers and relatives are now limited due to challenges posed by the ongoing lockdown.

“Visits remain barred as part of our mandate is to protect them against the virus,” she said.

“Most inmates supplement what they get from Government by getting supplies from their families. We made arrangements at provincial level to ensure that the prisoners continuously receive basic provisions even without their families travelling.

“At some facilities, relatives make electronic payments and the inmate gets groceries at the facility tuck-shop or sometimes arrangements are made for them to have what they need to be bought from outside.” 🔺

Source
Herald
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