NICOSIA -- The number of inmates in Nicosia Central Prisons has fallen from over 670-700 to 561 thanks to the government measures currently being implemented, House Human Rights Committee chairman Sophocles Fyttis told The Cyprus Daily on Monday.
“At the suggestion of the Attorney General a number of people, around 150-200, were released from prison during Christmas, others were sent to Menoyia while people are not jailed for petty crimes or civil debts,” Fyttis said.
The issues of the parole board and community service were also discussed at Monday’s meeting of the House Human Rights Commission.
“We found the implementation of community service satisfactory but we found that the parole board should move faster and examine more applications,” Fyttis said.
“The House Human Rights Committee asked for the parole board to hold a meeting at the Justice Ministry with the participation of the Attorney General, the Social Welfare Office and the Central Prisons management to discuss various issues,” he added.
The parole board will discuss the need to provide more information to prisoners about its existence, the issue of putting prisoners in the open prison so that they can adjust before being released, the monitoring bracelet and proposed amendments or improvements to the current law.
“The committee will invite the parole board again in about six weeks to give its views to MPs,” Fyttis said.
The parole board began operation in June 2013. It can release prisoners provided they apply after completing half their sentences. Lifers have to serve more than 12 years behind bars.
So far four lifers have been released on parole while some 50 applications are pending.