The All Peoples Congress (APC) led government of President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has on Wednesday 3rd May 2017, freed one hundred and seventy six (176) convicted inmates from all correctional centres across the Sierra Leone.
The figure of 176 convicted inmates is divided into ninety nine (99) from correctional centres across the Western Area region, twenty eight (28) from correctional centres in the Northern Province, twenty nine (29) from correctional centres in the Eastern Province and twenty (20) from the correctional centres in the Southern Province.
Furthermore, this figure, according to the list submitted by the Sierra Leone Correctional Service to the Prerogative of Mercy Committee setup by His Excellency the President, is further diluted into 83 freed convicted inmates from the Freetown Male Correctional Centre, 4 freed from Freetown Female Correctional Centre and 12 freed from Freetown Male Reintegration Centre all in the Western Region (names in the list withheld for confidentiality).
In the north, 4 convicted inmates are freed from Magburaka Correctional Centre, 3 freed from Makeni Correctional Centre, 5 freed from Mafanta Correctional Centre, 2 freed from Kabala Correctional Centre, 8 freed from Port Loko Correctional Centre and 6 freed from Kambia Correctional Center (names in the list withheld for confidentiality) .
In addition, in the Eastern Region, 12 convicted inmates are freed in Sefadu Correctional Centre, 5 freed from Kenema Male Correctional Centre, 2 freed from Kenema Female Correctional Centre and 10 from the Kailahun Correctional Centre (names in the list withheld for confidentiality).
Lastly, in the Southern Region, 4 convicted inmates are freed from the Bo Male Correctional Centre, 4 freed from the Moyamba Correctional Centre, 9 freed from Pujehun Correctional Centre and 3 freed from the Mattru Jong Correctional Center (names in the list withheld for confidentiality).
Meanwhile, it could be recalled that in a letter dated 25th April 2017, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice had submitted names to His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma recommending them for the gracious consideration of the grant of amnesty to correctional inmates, taken from all correctional centers in Sierra Leone.
Also, in response to the letter written by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, the Secretary to the President in a reply on the 2nd May 2017, informed that His Excellency the President has graciously approved the recommendations to grant amnesty to 176 correctional inmates across the county.
Against this backdrop, the Director of Public Prosecution in a letter dated 3rd May 2017 wrote to the Director General of Sierra Leone Correctional Service informing him of the President’s approval to grant amnesty to 176 inmates nationwide.
Meanwhile, this reporter did visit the Freetown Female Correctional Centre where 4 inmates were released. All of them who spoke to me expressed thanks for the President’s decision to restore their liberty.
Particularly, a lady, who claimed anonymity, said “my time in prison was never a waste. I am happy I came here because I now see that I have been transformed from someone who was very bad in society, to someone who could impact meaningful to the country.”
She added “despite me spending five years in here, I am still hopeful.” She therefore admitted: “the crime I committed was very bad. I thank the Government of President Koroma for giving me the chance to go back to the society. I promise that I will never let the government down.”
Theresa Kamara, Commanding Officer, Freetown Female Correctional Centre whilst being interviewed yesterday by this writer, said “it is really heartrending when we lockup our fellow women for criminal acts. It is really painful.” She added “but this is the job. We just need to do our job.” She however warned “I am advising my fellow women to deviate from crimes that will bring them to the correctional centers.”
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