Health crisis delays Parole Board review

More than 50 prisoners have applied for parole with the Parole Board reviewing their applications this week.

The Parole Board review usually takes place in December every year.

But the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration (M.J.C.A.) Chief Executive Officer, Moliei Simi Vaai, said the review was delayed due to the measles epidemic.

“There are about 58 parole applications that the Parole Board will look through starting Wednesday, Thursday and Friday,” said Ms. Vaai in an interview with the Samoa Observer. 

“The successful parole applicants will be made known on Friday…” 

Convicts granted parole are released with bail conditions. These has often included a ban on alcohol, nightclubs and other social events.

Under the Prison’s Parole Board Act 1979, offenders serving under a one-year sentence are released with no parole conditions. 

All offenders serving one year or more, apart from those sentenced to life imprisonment, are eligible to apply for parole at one year or after the expiry of one half of the term of the sentence – whichever period is longer. 

Prisoners who have had a death sentence commuted to life imprisonment (i.e. murder) must serve 10 years before being eligible for parole. 

Inmates who are serving life imprisonment (i.e. rape and manslaughter offence) must serve 8 years before being eligible for parole.  

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