538 South Koreans Paroled from Prison

John Kim, Nov. 30, 2015, 9:49 a.m.

The government released 538 prisoners on parole Monday, ministry officials said, following a relaxed examination. The inmates, mostly those who committed crimes to make a living or who exhibited exemplary behavior while in prison, were allowed to go home in the morning, the Ministry of Justice said.

With a larger amount of parolees than usual -- customarily the number is around 200 to 400 -- the ministry said it adopted a more flexible examination when deciding parole, though did not modify the existing guidelines.

It was part of an effort to resolve the issue of overpopulation in prisons and to more effectively run correctional facilities. "We will keep a strict screening of criminals who were leaders of society or those who have committed serious offenses, such as murder or sex crimes," a ministry official said. Up to October, the ministry has paroled 4,932 prisoners in total this year.

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