Prisoners to get 30 days deducted from their term following Pope's request

Inmates at Corradino prison are to get a reduction of 30 days from their prison term following a request by the Pope to the President to mark the Year of Mercy, President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca announced today.

She was speaking at a press conference at the Palace.

She said the request had been accepted by the Cabinet and will apply to all prisoners, including those who are still waiting to be sentenced.

“I received a letter from the Pope on October 29, requesting a reduction in inmates’ sentences to mark the Year of Mercy being celebrated this year.

“I then presented the Pope’s appeal to Cabinet and I was advised to deduct 30 days from all inmates’ sentences.”

Prisoners serving more than one sentence will only have the 30 days deducted once.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna, who was also present at the press conference, thanked both the President and the government for accepting the Pope’s request.

“This also shows that we are committed to providing inmates with an opportunity to rehabilitate,” the Archbishop said.

Similar view were also echoed by Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela who insisted that while it was crucial to offer inmates a chance to rehabilitate, it was also important to keep victims in mind.

On whether any distinction would be made between inmates serving short sentences and those in prison for much longer periods, the minister said that the Cabinet had felt it was only fair to reduce each sentence by the same amount.

“It’s not a question of proportionality. Whether an inmate is serving a year-long sentence or a life sentence, it’s still a months’ reduction.” 

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