PRISONS DEPT ASKED TO STUDY FEASIBILITY OF PRIVATE PENITENTIARIES

NORAIZURA AHMAD

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 (Bernama) -- The Prisons Department has been asked to study the feasibility of establishing private penitentiaries, said Home Affairs Deputy Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman today.

He said if the proposal paper prepared by the department is acceptable, Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will submit it to Cabinet for consideration. 

Mohd Azis told reporters this after the closing of a colloquium on prison modernisation held in Kajang.

Although prisons across the country only have a capacity to house 52,000 individuals, approximately 74,000 prisoners are currently detained there, he said, adding that during a recent visit to the United Kingdom, he had had the opportunity to observe the operations of a private prison which did not require the construction of a new building.

On another matter, he said upgrades would be conducted on three prisons, located in Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan; Batu Gajah, Perak and Seremban, Negeri Sembilan next year, while the ministry will try to source for funding for three other prisons in need of renovations which will hopefully be conducted next year as well - they are located in Taiping, Perak; Muar, Johor and Penang.

-- BERNAMA