It will be a welcome transfer from prison cells to classrooms for 16 young men and women who were granted clemency by President Paul Kagame.
The move is a reward to the juvenile inmates after they performed well in last year’s national exams.
Their release was published in a presidential order issued yesterday.
All the inmates were serving their respective sentences in Nyagatare’s juvenile prison, located in the Eastern Province.
The early release was for those who passed their examinations at both primary and O’level. The juvenile facility is fitted with school-like facilities and has tutors to support the young inmates and prepare them for exams.
The inmates include three females. Of the 16, 12 had sat Primary exams and the remaining 4, secondary exams.
The clemency allows them to go out in the society and pursue their studies in ordinary schools but they have to exhibit a high level of discipline and avoid committing any other crime.
According to the Presidential Order, they risk serving more time if they commit other offenses.
This is not the first time juvenile convicts are granted clemency.
According to SSP Hillary Sengabo, the spokesperson of the Rwanda Correctional Services, this is the third time juvenile inmates are granted early release thanks to their outstanding performance in national exams.
The rehabilitation center was launched 5 years ago to mainly accommodate inmates between the ages of 14 and 18. It also offers training in technical and vocational skills, commonly known as TVET.