The Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) are in the process of releasing up to 4,000 prisoners who have overstayed their remand period.
This, according to JLOS officials, would save Government up to 3.2billion shillings in feeding expenses.
Paul Gadenya, the JLOS Senior Technical Advisor says the move has been dubbed campaign 23 in reference to Article 23 of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda.
Article 23 guarantees any person in prison the right to mandatory bail after they complete 60 days in prison for petty offences and 180 days for capital offenders, so that they do not overstay in prison.
Speaking to Uganda Radio Network, Gadenya said the sector realized that there are up to 4,000 inmates, who are unable to have their cases heard in courts or even get them released because they are still under investigation.
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Gadenya says the move which they hope to start in two weeks will help both the police and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to respect prisoners’ rights by ensuring timely investigations of cases.
Gadenya revealed that Article 23 has been abused and this calls for the urgent intervention of the sector to free prisoners.
Currently, the Uganda Prisons Service has up to 31,000 inmates with majority of them on remand.
Once JLOS achieve their goal, the prisons will have more convicts than remands, which will help solve the problem of congestion.
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After the exercise the sector hopes to inject more money in the case backlog reduction program to ensure speedy investigations of cases.
JLOS advised the office of the DPP to commit inmates who have overstayed on remand.