Statements made by law enforcement officers that the spate of robberies reported in the recent past have been committed by ex-inmates are unfair and dangerous, PRISCCA has charged.


PRISCCA Executive Director Dr. Godfrey Malembeka observed that these statements, which are usually unverified had continued to put ex-inmates in bad light and were inciting the public against progressive ex-prisoners.


“We insist these assertions are unverified because law enforcement officers are unable to prove they are ex-prisoners by way of checking their discharge slips among other things. You can only know for sure if someone was in prison if you check their discharge slip,” he insisted.


He stressed that Zambia’s prison model was now that of correction and ex -prisoners should not be deemed as criminal elements but reformed citizens who want to contribute to the development of the nation.


“Zambians should appreciate that the Zambia Correctional Service follows certain procedures of screening before someone is eligible for any amnesty such as Prerogative of Mercy by the Republican President. Therefore, continued insinuations that ex-prisoners pardoned by the Republican President are responsible for the spate of robberies and other crimes is a clear demonstration of the lack of confidence Zambians have in the system,” he said.


 Dr. Malembeka said Zambia had many productive ex-inmates and it was sad to see some sections of society creating a perception that all ex-prisoners were dangerous.


He added that these statements have perpetuated stigma and discrimination against ex-prisoners and should not be tolerated, more so from law enforcement officers.


“We are strongly opposed to these statements because the same law enforcement officers will not get back to the public to correct the impression when they discover that the people involved are in fact not ex-prisoners.


 We need society to treat ex-prisoners as equals in society and stop stigma against ex-prisoners,” Dr. Malembeka said.



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