The Assistant Minister for Correction at the Ministry of Justice, Eddie Tarawali, has expressed concern about the overcrowding of the Monrovia Central Prison and other prison facilities across the country, terming it as a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

Tarawali said prison overcrowding poses security threat to the country because, according to him, when a prison is congested it gives room for prison break.

Speaking on a local radio talk show in Monrovia Wednesday, Tarawali said prison overcrowding is not only a serious problem, but it also a burden on the country's economy because the government has to feed the prisoners and cater to their medical needs.

Assistant Minister Tarawali disclosed that he has suggested to the President to constitute a Parole Board to mitigate the overcrowding of prison facilities in the country.

“The parole board will grant probation to prisoners who have good behavior as well as those who committed lesser offenses,” Tarawali pointed out.

He said when these prisoners are granted probation they will engage in community services in their various communities until their jail term ends.

Tarawali also noted that there will be terms and conditions applied to the probation and that if they are violated the individual (s) will go back to prison.

He indicated that prisoners released on probation will have a Probation Officer assigned to them to keep check on them to make sure that they are not violating the rule.

The Justice Ministry official also disclosed that beginning June this year the Bureau of Correction will begin recruiting Probation Officers to be assigned across the country.

Tarawali also said there is a need for the establishment of a fast-track court to reduce the pre-trial detainees currently in prison.

At the same time, the Assistant Minister for Correction wants the Bureau of Correction at the Ministry of Justice to be granted autonomous status.

According to him, it is a conflict of interest for the Ministry of Justice to be prosecuting alleged criminals and at the same time be vested with the power to incarcerate them.

 

         

 

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