Rwandan Minister of Interior Alfred Gasana told public broadcaster, Rwanda Television, that the reforms seek to improve living conditions of prisoners at Rwanda Correctional Facilities (RCS) while helping address congestion issues.
"As part of these reforms, soon-to-be-released prisoners will be placed in designated centers, allowing them to receive family visits. Those sentenced to national service will fulfill their duties within their communities," he said.
Gasana emphasized that these centers will offer courses aimed at transforming prisoners’ attitudes and equipping them with skills to reintegrate into society after completing their sentences.
The inaugural center has already opened in the capital Kigali, with a capacity of accommodating 2,800 people. Authorities have announced plans to establish additional centers in the future, with an increased overall capacity, according to him.
Statistics from RCS reveal a total of 89,034 inmates across the 13 correctional facilities in the country.
The past two years have been characterized by a series of strategies implemented by the government to decrease the prison population. One such measure involves an increased utilization of release on parole.
Release on parole entails the conditional release of a convict before their sentence expires, contingent upon a commitment to good behavior.
In 2022, a total of 2,617 inmates were granted release on parole and presidential pardon. This year, a notable number, 381 individuals, have already benefited from the same measure.