Putrajaya Is Considering To Privatise Prisons To Ease Overcrowding In Govt Jails

The private prisons would house inmates who are sentenced for low-to-medium offences.

Cover image via JUICE Malaysia

With about 74,000 individuals currently detained at 38 prisons across the country, Malaysia's prisons are overcrowded, reported Bernama

The prisons only have the capacity to house 52,000 individuals, which makes the percentage currently at 40% overcapacity, according to the Bernama report on Saturday, 23 November.

Image via JUICE Malaysia

The report was quoting Home Affairs Deputy Minister Mohd Azis Jamman, who said that the Government is considering to set up private prisons to solve the overcrowding problem in Malaysian jails

Azis Jamman said that the Ministry of Home Affairs has directed the Prisons Department to study the feasibility of establishing private penitentiaries and submit its findings to the Ministry.

"If the proposal paper prepared by the department is acceptable, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will submit it to Cabinet for consideration," Bernama reported him as saying at the closing of a colloquium on prison modernisation held in Kajang on Friday, 22 November.

The Deputy Home Minister said that he recently had an opportunity to see the operations of a private prison during his working trip to Britain

According to him, such private prisons resulted in the government there not having to build new prisons.

"I have tasked the Prisons Department to look into the feasibility of having a similar concept in the country," Azis Jammam was quoted as saying by The Star yesterday.

"Maintaining and managing prisons is expensive as we also need to consider operational costs as well as the welfare of both staff members and inmates," he said, adding that the government has already implemented the parole and Compulsory Attendance Order systems to reduce overcrowding in prisons.

The private prisons, if proven to be a feasible solution, would house inmates who are being sentenced for low-to-medium offences

"Hopefully, this (concept) would help minimise overcrowding in our jails as well as the stress on government coffers," the Deputy Home Minister was quoted as saying by The Star.

Following the news, netizens have taken to Twitter to urge the Government to not consider it, while pointing out why this a bad move

Meanwhile, the Deputy Home Minister recently said that PDRM can inspect anybody's mobile phone during a random check:

Speaking of prisons, did you know the Malaysia Prisons Department has been equipping prison inmates with vocational skills?

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