KAJANG: The Prison Department is in the process of ensuring the success of its correctional programme outside prison as an alternative to address overcrowded prisons.
Its director-general Datuk Seri Zulkifli Omar said the move is important as a cost saving measure for the government.
“We want to ensure that two-thirds of the prisoner population will undergo (the out-of-prison correctional programmes) by 2030.
“This is because we find that only 0.44% return to prison. The number is too small,“ he said though he did not elaborate further.
Home Minister Secretary-General Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim, in September last year, had given an example of a correctional programme that is being carried out in Sungai Petani, Kedah involving 20 prisoners working in the industrial sector.
“For a start, the pioneer programme is being carried out in Sungai Petani, Kedah early this year involving 20 prisoners and having them work in the industrial sector.
“They currently commute between the prison and workplace daily, escorted by officers on duty.
“Some of the companies had requested to provide hostels (for the prisoners) in future,“ he was quoted then.
Alwi had added that the correctional 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.
Earlier, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin launched the Prison Department’s new administrative headquarters today.
On a separate note, Zulkifli said the Prison Department had given their cooperation on a drug syndicate which the police have taken down last month.
The drug syndicate that reported to have supplied drugs to inmates at the Simpang Renggam prison.
“The smuggling of drugs cannot be denied that it does exist, however, it is still under control.
“We have scanners which are placed in Kajang, Tapah and other major prisons,“ he added.