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Friday September 7, 2007
By BERNARD SEE
PENANG: The parole system will be introduced next year to reduce the maintenance cost of prisoners, which runs up to more than RM426mil annually.
Prisons Department deputy director for rehabilitation and treatment Senior Asst Comm Mat Rasid Jahlil said it cost RM23 a day to maintain a prisoner. There are now 50,820 prisoners.
“The cost, which includes food, rehabilitation, training, clothes, guard services and equipment, would be reduced by at least 30% with the parole system,” he told reporters after attending a forum organised by the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (Penang Chapter) at the Universiti Sains Malaysia here yesterday.
“Based on the Australian and British system, prisoners are required to serve half their sentence before being eligible for parole.”
Mat Rasid said prisoners released under the system would be required to report to a parole centre daily or weekly, adding that they would also be required to attend courses to help them assimilate into society.
“Most of the prisons are overcrowded. For example, the Sungai Buloh prison was built for only 2,500 but presently has more than 4,000 inmates,” he said.
“The need to build new prisons would not arise with the implementation of the parole system. Having many prisons would not look good for the country. Each prison costs between RM230mil and RM260mil to build.”
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