Over 14,400 inmates benefit from Romania’s law on early release
More than 14,400 inmates have benefited from early release based on the Law 169/2017, which gives detainees the possibility to get out of prison earlier if they served the sentence in improper conditions.
Most of those who benefited from this law, namely 11,800, were released after courts admitted their early release requests, while the rest got out of prison after serving the full sentence, according to data from the National Administration of Penitentiaries (ANP), quoted by local News.ro.
ANP also said that about 5% of those who benefited from early release returned to prison. However, ANP explained that not all of them broke the law after getting out of jail. Some of them were already investigated in other cases, in different stages, before being released from prison.
The information on how many inmates benefited from the early release law came amid several media reports about such inmates who committed serious offenses after getting out of jail under this law. For example, a few days ago, a man who got out of jail in May last year stabbed to death a 25-year-old man in the city of Medias. The Police arrested him alongside two other suspects.
This case triggered even more criticism, with opposition parties asking the justice minister and the government to review or even repeal this law. Meanwhile, justice minister Tudorel Toader reiterated that this legislative initiative belongs to the 2016 technocrat government and that the Superior Council of Magistracy (CSM) gave a favorable opinion on this project. The new Government sent the bill to the Senate in late-January 2017, when Toader was not justice minister. However, the initial bill provided a 3-day sentence reduction for each 30 days a detainee spends in improper conditions. The Parliament later doubled this to six days.
The law came into force in the autumn of 2017, when Toader was justice minister. He explained at that time that this legislation would help Romania solve the overcrowding problem of local prisons as requested by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Irina Marica, firstname.lastname@example.org