Jali Report Urges Law Change to Allow for Review of Jail Sentences

Article excerpt

BYLINE: Linda Daniels

The Jali Commission has recommended that the Criminal Procedure Act be amended to give the prisons commissioner the right to apply for certain prison sentences to be reconsidered and non-jail terms imposed instead.

The recommendation is contained in the full summary of the Jali Commission report which was tabled in parliament yesterday after last week's furore over the department's decision to hand out only an abridged executive summary.

The proposed amendment, presumably to deal with overcrowding in prisons, relates to instances where an inmate has been sentenced by a court to a term not exceeding five years, or to a term exceeding five years, but where the date of release in terms of the law and regulations is not more than five years in the future.

If the commissioner believes the convict is fit to be placed under correctional supervision, he or she could apply to the clerk or registrar of the court to have the court reconsider the sentence, the commission recommends.

However, it makes provision for victims of crime to have a say in the process. …