Supreme Court Judge, Justice Alusine Sesay has released 44 convicts at Mafanta Correctional Center for various offences for which they were serving jail terms in the North-East Region.
The 44 convicted persons are among a total of 104 sentenced convicts that are before the Court for review.
The Prison Courts are aimed at reviewing cases that had been presided over and determined by Magistrates across the Country with the aim of ensuring that their decisions are consistent with the requisite Laws that govern their operations. The Supreme Court Judge reduced the imprisonment of some convicts, and some were released because they were already at the conclusion of their jail term.
The exercise also looks into other issues such as prolonged adjournments, bail review and sentencing, among others.
In his opening remarks, Supreme Court Judge, Honourable Justice Sesay said the aim of the Prison Courts is to review cases and not to convict.
The exercise is part of ongoing efforts to increase access and ensure fairness in the criminal justice system.
Among the 104 cases, 17 are from Freetown, 4 from Sefadu, 75 from Makeni, 6 from Kabala, 1 from Waterloo and 1 from Magburuka. The convicts were represented by M. Korie Esq and O.B. Kamara from the Legal Aid Board.
As part of the reforms, the Judiciary has completed the Judicial Week with 802 cases that were dealt with by 23 Judges. The Judicial Week was to clear backlog of cases for which the Judiciary was commended.
Like the Judicial Week, the Prison Courts are supported by the UNDP. The Prison Courts have received commendations and also put smiles on the faces of released convicts across the country with a good number of them thanking the Chief Justice, Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards and his team for the unprecedented reforms and increased access to Justice.