PRESIDENT Michael Sata has pardoned 59 female prisoners country-wide as part of this year's New Year celebrations.
Among them are 43 inmates with children, four are expectant mothers while 12 are aged above 60 years.
This will result in 50 children leaving jails as they had been incarcerated along with their convicted mothers.
President Sata counselled the released inmates to show exemplary behaviour and prove to society that they had reformed.
Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations George Chellah announced this in a statement released in Lusaka yesterday.
"The rationale behind the President's decision is to decongest the extremely crowded prison facilities countrywide as well as reintegrate prisoners into society.
The release of the inmates was according to an Order of Release signed by the Head of State on December 28, this year.
Mr Sata signed the order in exercise of powers vested in him by Article 59(d) of the Republican Constitution.
As part of Independence celebrations in October last year, President Sata released 260 prisoners country-wide.
During the 2011 Independence anniversary, the Head of State pardoned more than 670 prisoners serving prison terms for mostly wildlife-related offences.
Female prisoners' population is estimated to be more than 350 country-wide.