Cabinet approves release of 182 prisoners on parole

A Cabinet meeting on Monday approved the release of 182 inmates who had applied for parole.

A Cabinet meeting on Monday approved the release of 182 inmates who had applied for parole.

Those to be released include convicts with five years sentence and below and have served a quarter of their sentence.

Others are those who were sentenced to five years and above but have served a third of their sentence. About 500 inmates from both civilian and military prisons had applied.

For an inmate to qualify for parole, they need to write to the Minister of Justice requesting for it.

 The minister, together with the prosecution and the correctional service then determine who qualifies for the conditional release.

“This kind of release is based on a number of conditions that mainly revolve around the conduct of the convict while in jail and outside. Those who are released have a condition of reporting to the nearest prosecutor from their homes, and not to commit any other crime; failure to comply with these conditions   means going back to jail,” Justice minister Johnston Busingye explained.

He highlighted several reasons why many applied but only a few were considered.

Convicts who committed grave crimes in society as well as those with unfinished business in courts cannot get parole.

He said the parole or Presidential Clemency is a privilege not a right.

 “People who commit crimes of, rape, terror, drug trafficking, genocide ideology and robbery with violence are not entitled to parole due to the magnitude of their crimes,” the minister said.

He further noted that convicts who may have applied for parole on grounds that they served a third of their sentence but still have a pending appeal are presumed to be pursuing their innocence and cannot benefit from parole.

“Those that may have been sentenced for one crime but have another pending and those who were ordered by courts to pay fine due to several reasons but haven’t paid are also not entitled to parole,” he said.