PANJIM: The Goa Prisons Department has decided to extend the parole or furlough granted to its prisoners till the lockdown period.
A total of 46 inmates from the lone Central Jail at Colvale were released on temporary basis last month in adherence to the Supreme Court’s March 23 directive to the States to consider releasing some prisoners to decongest jail and curb the possible spread of COVID-19 in them.
Few more inmates were released either on parole or furlough, based on their eligibility for the short-term release. Inspector General of Prisons Gurudas Pilarnkar confirmed that the parole and furlough granted to the prisoners, will continue till the lockdown ends.
“We have decided to extend the parole and furlough to the inmates till the lockdown. If the lockdown further extends, the period of temporary release will also increase,” he said while speaking to Herald.
The move is also to ensure health safety of the prisoners and maintaining social distancing. Apart from the 46 inmates, the Prisons Department has released a few more inmates but not due to the COVID-19 fear.
“The fresh list of inmates were released on parole or furlough either because they are eligible for it or due to medical emergency at their residence,” Pilarnkar said.
After completion of the parole and furlough of the inmates, each of them will be quarantined for 14 days within the jail complex. The IGP said that Colvale Jail has sufficient space to quarantine the prisoners on their return.
The department is however not considering temporarily releasing non-Goan prisoners as borders are currently sealed.