The Cabinet said yesterday it will map out measures with banks to help newly released inmates financially, said Vice Premier Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) yesterday.
A total of 9,597 inmates were released on Monday as part of the commutation granted to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the end of martial law. Among those who benefitted were prisoners convicted on charges of illegal drug possession or sales, burglary, fraud or homicide.
"These people were released because of the commutation. The commutation was designed to give them a chance to re-initiate their lives. To make that happen, I think the government can do something," said Chiou at the Cabinet's weekly meeting yesterday.
Chiou said the Cabinet has instructed the Taiwan After-Care Association, a partly government-funded organization that supports convicts when they are released, to coordinate with local banks to offer small loans for inmates without interest.
Chiou said that most released inmates find it difficult to begin a normal life since job opportunities and financial help are scarce.
The policy will help these released convicts to decrease the potentially negative impact on public order, Chiou said.
"Via this policy, we can offer a new start for them," he said.
"We still believe that most convicts regret what they did in the past and that they can change for better, so we are more than happy to help them and give them a chance."
Whoever needs financial help can file their applications with the Ministry of Justice, Chiou said.
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