Prisoners are citizens, says Dr Kwa


DEPARTMENT of Justice and Attorney-General secretary Dr Eric Kwa has reminded prisoners that they are still citizens of PNG and not to feel neglected by the system.
The reminder came when the parole board held its first hearing at the Giligili Prison in Alotau, Milne Bay, recently.
Dr Kwa explained that the Government had set up a number of pathways to help prisoners and parole was just one of the ways.
He said the other pathway was the release on licence the one-third remission-based on good behaviour and the other avenue was the power of mercy.
“The release on licence is a committee of the minister for justice and the power of mercy is established by the cabinet,” Dr Kwa said.
He said the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General Davis Steven was concerned about the prisoners and was in the process of having the Government-endorsed committee members to reactivate the power of mercy committee which has not been in existence for the last 15 years. Steven said the decision of the parole board to have the hearing in Milne Bay sent a message of hope in ensuring “that our systems work and brings back confidence in the legal system.”

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