Outside-the-prison walls rehab programme to be expanded to address prison congestion

Fairuz Zaidan

MELAKA: The Prisons Department would expand rehabilitation programme outside the prison walls as an alternative to address prison congestion, especially in the Klang Valley. Home Ministry’s secretary general Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim said such measures included a plan to enlist two third of the prisoners population in the out-of-prison correctional programmes by 2030. He said the programme would focus on selected prisoners who were serving terms of less than a year, while at the same time enabled them to obtain skills and job opportunities when they were released. “As a start, the pioneer programme is being carried out in Sungai Petani, Kedah, early this year involving 20 prisoners to have them work in the industrial sector. “They currently commute between the prison to workplace daily, escorted by officers on duty. “Some of the companies had requested to provide hostels (for the prisoners) in future,” he said after attending the Asian and Pacific Conference of Correctional Administrators (APCCA) launched by Deputy Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman here today. Apart from industrial companies, Alwi said the Prisons Department also received positive response from FELDA, FELCRA and government-linked companies (GLCs) that supported the expansion of the programme. Earlier, Alwi said Malaysia was selected for the fourth time to lead the conference that saw participation from 29 countries, with Melaka chosen as the host for the first time. “The conference is the best field for state members to enhance cooperation and exchange views on rehabilitation programmes in future,” he said. Alwi, when asked, said efforts to abolish the mandatory death penalty was not highlighted in the conference. He said it revolved around information on new prorammes and initiatives that could be shared among the members for the betterment of prison management. Also present were Chief Minister Adly Zahari, State Legislative Assembly Speaker Omar Jaafar and State Secretary Datuk Wira Roslan Ibrahim. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd