The House legal committee on Wednesday discussed a bill which will allow prisoners to seek parole earlier than they currently do, in a bid to improve inmates’ behaviour while in jail.
The proposal, submitted by committee chairman George Georgiou will allow prisoners to seek parole six months before half their sentence has been served.
As the law stands now, prisoners can ask for parole after serving 50 per cent of their time and one day. By the time the application is examined and a decision is taken, even more time elapses, Georgiou said.
Should the bill be enacted into law, prisoners, if approved for parole will be released from prison as soon as they serve half their time.
This will encourage inmates to be better behaved as this is a major part of the evaluation for parole eligibility procedure, Georgiou added and would also solve the problem of the overcrowded prison.
The MP said the proposal would give the opportunity to more people to be released although did not specify which offences would be eligible to apply for parole.
According to Georgiou, the justice ministry, prison and associations on the rights of prisoners are in agreement of the bill.
The parole board has some unspecified reservations which will be presented in written form to the House legal committee.