CS wants Sir Bob to review power of mercy

National

The Correctional Service (CS) has asked Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae to use his capacity to revive three legal processes that can allow long-serving prisoners to be released.
Acting commissioner Steven Pokanis said the detainees were not only prisoners but citizens.
Pokanis requested Sir Bob to ask the government to revive the power of mercy, release on licence and parole to allow long-term prisoners to be released.
Bomana prison commander Supt Haraha Kiddy Keko said the constitutional provisions for the power of mercy was inactive for more than 15 years.
“This is the provision that will over time, give great confidence, recognition and compliment the rehabilitation efforts rendered by Correctional Services staff and the Correctional Services as an organisation responsible for reforming citizens with bad attitude to being law-abiding citizens,” Keko said.
Pokanis said under the Parole Act, there should not be over 2000 convicted prisoners in CS.
“We will have probably 1000 as most of them throughout our correctional institutions should at least be released through the power of mercy, releasing licence, or on parole and on normal due date,” Pokanis said.
Sir Bob responded that his role as the governor-general was to be the voice of the voiceless and to act on advice from authorities.
“Any papers I sign will be on advice and if this advice comes from your commissioner, this is where my power lies, I will act upon it.”
Sir Bob assured the CS commissioner and staff that he would use his capacity to act on the requests to revive the three processes. “Prison is a place where people get corrected and not punished. And if people have been in here for a long time and have already been rehabilitated, why should we be keeping them for a long time?,” Sir Bob said.

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