Prisoners’ rehabilitation funds squandered

The Zambia prisons service (ZPS) has no money to pay ex convicts to help them settle down in society after successfully serving their sentences and the situation is feared to be making ex convicts get back to crime.

ZPS sources have told the Zambian Watchdog that convicts receive stipends which are kept for them in a separate account to be paid upon successful completion of the sentence but currently some prisoners are just released without being given anything as the money has been embezzled by prisons officials.

“When one is convicted, they get some stipends ranging between K30 and K50 per month to help them settle down after their various sentences. As you know prisoners perform jobs for which they are not paid, as form of punishment and some of this money comes from some donors who are committed to prisoners’ welfare so after a person has served a 15 year sentence, he is expected to be paid a stipend of about K5,000 to K7,000 but there is no money, that is why some ex convicts are getting back to crime,” said the source.

Recently the country has experienced a series of robberies from ex prisoners mostly those released on pardon by ailing dictator Michael Sata.

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