Prisons Dept reveals jail congestion at 36pc, taking measures to reduce overcrowding
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 — The Malaysian Prison Department today disclosed prisons in the country are packed to overflowing.
The department said the number of inmates in prisons nationwide exceeds its current maximum capacity of 4,200 by 36 per cent. This rate is based on international regulations.
“Measures to reduce congestion will continue with the cooperation of various agencies that will also focus on reducing the number of remand prisoners,” it said in a statement.
The department said it has undertaken reforms which aims among other things to reduce overcrowding and recidivism in all prisons, including Sungai Buloh Prison in Selangor. This includes putting in bunk beds in prison cells and dormitories.
“The department is also cooperating with the courts to speed up trials and focus on the rehabilitation programmes in the community which currently involve a total of 82,487 prisoners with a recidivism rate of only 0.24 per cent.
“The rehabilitation programme in the community also involves a number of convicted prisoners placed in Sungai Buloh Prison,” it said.
The department said it is using the former National Service Training Programme premises as a Resident Reintegration Centre and Satellite Prisons.
“The department is studying the use of electronic monitoring devices for low-risk remand prisoners to prevent them from being held in prison,” the department said.
It added that its measures so far have helped reduce overcrowding in Sungai Buloh Prison.