Traditionally, the Liberian leader uses her discretion to grant Executive Clemency yo persons convicted of various crimes.
"Go in peace, stay on the right path and be law-abiding citizens and keep strong during this festive season. I urge you to never again get involved with what led you to prison," President Sirleaf told the freed inmates.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the clemency covered inmates from prisons around the country, including the Monrovia Central Prison as well as prisons in Grand Bassa, Maryland, Grand Gedeh, Nimba, Bomi, Lofa, Grand Cape Mount and Margibi counties.
The freed prisoners were charged for different crimes, ranging from theft of property, simple assault and drug-related offenses.
However, President Sirleaf cautioned those released to be mindful of not getting themselves into the same problems that led to their detention, and stay out of trouble.
She also urged them to find a way to obtain training to qualify themselves in order to gain employment and be very good citizens.
President Sirleaf was met upon arrival at the Monrovia Central Prison by the Justice Minister and Attorney General Fredrick Cherue, Assistant Minister for Corrections, Hilary Siakor-Sirleaf, and the Superintendent of the prison, among others.
She was taken on a guided tour of the prison following briefings by prison officials and the Minister of Justice.
Some areas toured include the Computer Lab, Volleyball Court, Female Cell, Holding Room, Bakery, Tailoring Department, Shoe-Shine Boys Shop, among others and listened to the personal stories of some of the prisoners.
The Monrovia Central Prison is currently holding some 900 prisoners charged with crimes such as rape, murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, criminal facilitation, among others.
Meanwhile, President Sirleaf earlier visited and identified with the John F. Kennedy Medical Hospital where the Liberian leader was met on arrival by the Administrator of the hospital Dr. Winnie-Mae Scott-McDonald and other members of staff as well as doctors and nurses.
In a brief comment, Dr. Scott-McDonald said because of the sorrowful nature of some of the patients - every Christmas season, they often organize themselves joyously and engaged in playing religious music, singing and dancing with patients to make them feel happy.
She noted: “Besides the President often visits here every Christmas and July 26 celebrations to share with patients at this hospital to make them feel happy.”
She thanked President Sirleaf for the visit, noting, “It was indeed a rewarding visit.”