The Malta Independent 24 September 2018, Monday

Cabinet reduces jail time for all prisoners by 30 days upon Pope's request

Helena Grech Wednesday, 30 November 2016, 13:50 Last update: about 3 years ago

Prisoners at the Corradino Correctional Facility are to receive a reduction of 30 days from their jail-time, after the Pope sent a request to President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca to mark the Year of Mercy.

President Coleiro Preca explained that when she received the request via a letter, she passed this on to Cabinet, who then approved the reduction of 30 days on each prisoner’s prison term.

A joint press conference was addressed by President Coleiro Preco, Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela.

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All three spoke of a focus on rehabilitation of prisoners so that they may integrate back into society as painlessly as possible.

Mr Abela highlighted how the majority of prisoners in Malta will re-enter society, therefore there has been a focus on rehabilitation and providing the opportunity to make the time spent behind bars meaningful in some way.

He explained that prisoners who have more than one prison sentence will only have the 30 days removed once and not for each sentence.

Asked about the difference in significance for prisoners serving different sentences, for example one person serving a one year term compared with others who have far longer sentences, Mr Abela explained that no principle of proportionality will be applied. This means that there is no intention to have prisoners with longer sentences have more than 30 days removed, the same reduction will apply to all, equally.

Mr Abela said that this reduction will apply to all inmates serving a prison term currently, those waiting for the outcome of an appeal as well as those individuals who are in prison because they arecurrently under arrest.

Archbishop Scicluna praised the effort being made towards rehabilitation, and cautioned not to forget the exigencies of those who have suffered as a result of a crime.

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