A plan to release 20,000 inmates by 2018 has been approved by the Vietnamese prime minister, reducing government spending by VND200 billion (US$8.93 million) each year.
The plan is set to be carried out over the next two years, during which those inmates who qualify will have their jail time cut short.
According to the Penal Code of Vietnam, first-time offenders who have been jailed for non-severe crimes and have served at least half of their jail time are eligible to apply for an early release, which will be evaluated on an individual basis by a committee set up by the prisons.
The early releases of inmates who qualify will be organized every three months in the next two years by the Ministry of Public Security and the Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam.
Some 20,000 inmates are expected to be released by 2018 following the plan, which translates into two to three inmates per commune-level administration across the country.
With the current annual cost for each inmate at nearly VND10 million ($446), the plan will cut government spending by around VND200 billion ($8.93 million) a year, while downsizing prisons in the country by 3,000 officers and wardens.
Those released would enjoy the basic rights of ordinary citizens, except for those that have been restricted in the pronounced judgment, and will be put under monitor by local authorities where they live.