Pa­pal amnesty re­quest: Cabi­net re­duces jail time for all pris­on­ers by 30 days

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Helena Grech

Pris­on­ers at the Cor­radino Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity are to re­ceive a re­duc­tion of 30 days from their jail-time, af­ter the Pope sent a re­quest to Pres­i­dent Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca to mark the Year of Mercy.

Pres­i­dent Coleiro Preca yes­ter­day ex­plained that when she re­ceived the re­quest via a let­ter, she passed this on to Cabi­net, who then ap­proved the re­duc­tion of 30 days on each pris­oner’s prison term.

A joint press con­fer­ence was ad­dressed yes­ter­day by Pres­i­dent Coleiro Preca, Arch­bishop Charles Sci­cluna and Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter Carmelo Abela.

All three spoke of a fo­cus on re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of pris­on­ers so that they may in­te­grate back into so­ci­ety as pain­lessly as pos­si­ble.

Mr Abela high­lighted how the ma­jor­ity of pris­on­ers in Malta will re-en­ter so­ci­ety, there­fore there has been a fo­cus on re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and pro­vid­ing the op­por­tu­nity to make the time spent be­hind bars mean­ing­ful in some way.

He ex­plained that pris­on­ers who have more than one prison sen­tence will only have the 30 days re­moved once and not for each sen­tence.

Asked about the dif­fer­ence in sig­nif­i­cance for pris­on­ers serv­ing dif­fer­ent sen­tences, for ex­am­ple one per­son serv­ing a one year term com­pared with oth­ers who have far longer sen­tences, Mr Abela ex­plained that no prin­ci­ple of pro­por­tion­al­ity will be ap­plied. This means that there is no in­ten­tion to have pris­on­ers with longer sen­tences have more than 30 days re­moved, the same re­duc­tion will ap­ply to all, equally.

Mr Abela said that this re­duc­tion will ap­ply to all in­mates serv­ing a prison term cur­rently, those wait­ing for the out­come of an ap­peal as well as those in­di­vid­u­als who are in prison be­cause they are cur­rently un­der ar­rest.

Arch­bishop Sci­cluna praised the ef­fort be­ing made to­wards re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, and cau­tioned not to for­get the ex­i­gen­cies of those who have suf­fered as a re­sult of a crime.

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