Zahid: Correctional Foundation will reduce recidivism rate

27 Feb 2015 / 19:11 H.

    KAJANG: The Prisons Department wants the Finance Ministry to approve the establishment of a 'Correctional Foundation' to benefit inmates undergoing a holistic rehabilitation programme.
    Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the programme by the Prisons Department and Open University Malaysia (OUM) has resulted in zero recidivism.
    “This (education programme) is the new approach to rehabilitate the inmates… We found out that 100% of the people who took this programme have not been involved in any criminal activities once they are out of prison.
    “(Overall) the prison recidivism level in Malaysia is among the best in Asia. We are at a rate of 7.6%, whereas the other countries are somewhere around 25% to 35%, and the approval of the Correctional Foundation could encourage more prisoners to participate in the programme,”he said in a press conference after visiting the Kajang prison drug rehabilitation and treatment centre here.
    Earlier, Ahmad Zahid visited a bakery inside the prison, where inmates produce bread for their own use.
    He said besides the benefits of holistic rehabilitation, the Prisons Department's expenditure could be reduced with prisoners producing their own food.
    “We have been able to save a lot. If we tender for the bread supply, it would cost approximately RM1.7 million, but by doing subsistence production here, the cost of producing is only about RM524,000,” he said.
    Ahmad Zahid said the prison also rears freshwater fish, where if tendered, the cost would be about RM852,000, but if managed by the prison, it would only cost
    about RM414,000.
    “In this case, we have been able to save a lot. Our target is RM25 million but the revenue from last year is RM28.8 million,” he said.
    Ahmad Zahid said some of the RM28.8 million revenue earned by the selling of goods produced by the prisoners could be allocated in a trust fund once the Correctional Foundation is established and it could be used to fund the education programme.
    There are about 49,200 prisoners in Malaysia in 35 ordinary prisons, four reformatory centres, five special recovery centres and three Henrey Gurney schools.

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