Courts faulted on prison congestion

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Prison authorities in Malawi have noted that harsh custodial sentences handed to offenders committing petty offences is a major factors contributing to congestion in prisons.

Prison Commanding Officer in the northern region Mr. Martin Moyo has pleaded with the judicially to start considering Community Service in place of jail term for minor offenders in an effort to reduce overcrowding in reformatory centers.

This comes at a time when various quarters including President Joyce Banda have bemoaned increased congestion in Malawi prisons.

“There are several factors contributing to overcrowding in our reformatory centers, like some offenders found in the penitentiaries do not deserve a custodial sentence but a community service.’’ Said Mr. Moyo.

He added that, “Our courts should also visit prisons very often with their camp courts initiative, so that congestion in these reformatory centers is reduced.’’

This was disclosed in an interview with Zodiak Online when the wife to the Vice President, Mrs. Martha Kachali, fulfilled a donation pledge, the second citizen made through President Banda on Sunday during prayers at the Mzuzu Prison.

A Plasma TV screen, a cow and bails of Sugar were some of the things that were pledged and were given to the inmates at the Mzuzu Prison Wednesday afternoon.

The Madam Vice President disclosed, “Our family had dedicated 28 February every year which is my birth day, to be cheering prisoners in some parts of the country.

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