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[News brief] Number of parolees rises 61% over 5 years

The number of inmates released on parole has increased 61 percent over five years, data released by the National Assembly’s Legislative and Judiciary Committee showed Wednesday.

A total of 8,667 convicted criminals were released last year, up by 61 percent from 5,394 in 2014, according to Justice Ministry data. Over 5,000 inmates have been paroled this year as of August.


Larceny or fraud convicts accounted for 55.3 percent of the parolees, followed by traffic offense criminals making up 12.4 percent and violators of the Military Service Act at 6 percent.

The rise in the number of parolees comes as part of the government’s efforts to resolve overpopulation in prisons.

However, there have been calls for stricter screening of offenders jailed for felonious assaults. From 2014 to 2018, 1,694 murderers were released on parole.

According to the Criminal Act, convicts are eligible for parole after serving more than a third of their sentences. 

Even those serving life sentences can be listed for review for parole if they are seen as exemplary inmates. Last year, 40 life-term prisoners were paroled.

By Choi Ji-won (