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Justice Minister Vows To Reduce Overcrowded Prisons
By Ballah M. Kollie
MONROVIA, September 6 (LINA) – Justice Minister Frederick Cherue has vowed to ensure that overcrowded prisons are reduced to their normal capacities.
Making the vow when he addressed the Ministry of Information press briefing for the second time since he assumed the post of Justice Minister on Tuesday, Cherue described the overcrowding of prisons across the country as a major challenge confronting the justice system.
Minister Cherue attributed the situation to the imprisonment of people for “minor offences like simple assault, aggravated assault and the misapplication of interested property,” among others.
He also blamed the recent wave of jail breaks across the country, including the one that recently took place in Voinjama, on overcrowding of the prisons.
“Some of our prisons that were built for 100 inmates are now holding over 150, while the Monrovia Central Prison that is to host 300 prisoners now holds over 1,000 persons,” Cherue pointed out.
He wondered why the courts will imprison citizens for minor offences in the presence of legal provisions, noting that this is costing government lots of money.
“We need to help mitigate this burden off the government’s shoulder by reducing the number of inmates at our prisons, especially those who committed minor crimes,” he added.
Meanwhile, Cllr. Cherue has said government through the Justice Ministry will ensure that prisons across the country are rehabilitated to create conducive environment for detainees.