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Friday May 2, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday May 2, 2014 MYT 7:33:36 AM
by iwan shu-aswad shuaib
PETALING JAYA: Some convicts may be able to check in and check out of prison on a daily basis, if a day parole plan is approved.
The Prisons Department is studying the proposal to grant prisoners daily passes in and out of jail to work.
Department parole and community services division director Deputy Comm Abdul Aziz Mohamad said the proposal to implement the day parole system was brought up to enable convicts to be rehabilitated outside prison by working and interacting with the public.
“The day parole system is currently being studied, especially in terms of its effectiveness in helping the parolee. The system would enable the parolee to go to work outside prison and return to jail at the end of the day,” he told mStar Online.
Parole refers to the release of a prisoner who is allowed to serve part of his sentence out of prison but is subject to monitoring by a parole officer.
The parole system in Malaysia has been implemented since 2008.
So far, a total of 7,843 prisoners have been granted parole. Among the total, only 0.56% end up repeating their offences.
Among the requirements for parole are that the prisoner must be sentenced to a minimum of one year in jail or he must have at least served half of his jail sentence and good behaviour.
DCP Abdul Aziz said the parolee would be given dormitory-like facilities in jail and would not be placed with other inmates serving their sentence.
He said the study on the proposal would cover all aspects, including officers overseeing the parolees and companies which will hire the parolees.
“If the day parole system is seen favourable, its implementation will require amending laws,” he said.
Abdul Aziz said that so far, the department had succeeded in maintaining a low level of repeat offenders among parolees.
Former Prisons Department director-general Tan Sri Mohd Zaman Khan said that he fully supported the proposal.
“It is a good proposal. When I visited Australia and New Zealand during my tenure to study their prison systems, they had already been utilising a similar system for prisoners who qualify under the scheme,” he said when contacted yesterday.
Mohd Zaman said the system in both countries had shown positive results and by implementing it in the country, it would teach select prisoners the true value of freedom.
“Prisoners who undergo the day parole system successfully would have a better lease of life compared to those who serve their sentences in jail upon release. Provided a careful selection process is undertaken, I expect similar positive results if the Prisons Department goes ahead with it,” he added.
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