Parole as way to reduce overcrowding in Zambian prisons: A Communicative and Participatory Approach

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Mwanza, Tobias
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The Prisons Service is one of the agencies of the Criminal Justice System in Zambia. The Zambian Criminal Justice System is founded on the Western concept of criminal justice. The concept is governed by the Roman Philosophy and legal notion Justitia whose justice is generally referred to as lextalionis.This concept defines crime as a violation of the state. Justice, therefore, focuses on establishing guilty and blame. Since justice is defined by intent and not by process, the interpersonal conflictual nature of crime is obscured and consequently crime comes to be seen as conflict between the individual and the state. The Judicial process works purely on legal terms devoid of moral or social dimensions. The Victim is represented by the state while the offender participates in the legal process only to attest to guilty. Taking into account the ever increasing crime rate in Zambia, and the intrinsic dependency of the criminal justice system on incarceration, more and more people continue to be locked up in prisons. The resultant is severe overcrowding in the penal institution. Zambia has a prison population of over 16, 000 prisoners against the official holding capacity of 5,265. The use of participatory communicative approaches is essential in the administration of parole, as this would provide interventional measures aimed at reducing overcrowding in Zambian Prisons. Many people are in prison because of felons and other social crimes. Improved participatory communication in the administration of parole within the communities and the creation of linkages among key stakeholders in thecriminal justice system can help reduce criminal behaviour by providing parolees with community based correctional interventions; acceptance, forgiveness, mentoring, job placements, family ties, increased spiritual care and counselling, networking for social support, and eventual reintegration of offenders into society as useful and productive law abiding citizens
Parole--Zambia , Work release of prisoners