KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 170 prisoners in five states have been released on Wednesday (Aug 30) under the Ihsan Madani Licensed Release of Prisoners (PBSL) in conjunction with the 66th National Day celebrations.
The five states are Melaka, Perak, Pahang, Penang and Negri Sembilan.
In MELAKA, a total of 36 prisoners were released early with 21 of them employed by employers while six prisoners would be brought home by their respective families and nine would be placed in a halfway house.
Melaka Sungai Udang Prisons deputy director Senior Assistant Commissioner Mohd Hafizey Yahaya (pic), said all the prisoners concerned comprised drug offenders, for either drug trafficking or abuse, or were tested positive with prison sentence of less than three years.
Speaking to reporters, he said that since Jan 1, a total of 282 prisoners were released early under the same programme and 91 of them were employed under the 'Corporate Smart Internship' (CSI) programme with the industry.
The PBSL programme is one of the commitments of the Malaysian Prisons Department in empowering rehabilitation in the community and is a step towards reintegration inmates in the community and to address overcrowding in prisons.
At the initial stage, PBSL was implemented for inmates serving sentences of one year and less but starting July, the programme was extended to prison inmates serving sentences of three years and less.
In PERAK, 29 prisoners were released at Taiping Prison, Taiping.
Director of the Parole and Community Services Division of the Prisons Department Zawari Abd Rashid said parolees who have no family or are not employed will be placed in a halfway house while waiting.
In PAHANG, 43 prisoners including four women were released comprising 27 inmates of Penor Prison in Kuantan while the rest from Bentong Prison.
Pahang Prisons deputy director Raja Mohd Amazon Raja Daud said a total of 585 inmates have been released in Pahang so far.
In PENANG, six prisoners were released and four of them will be handed over to their families and the rest to their employers.
Penang Remand Prison director Mohamad Jusoh Ismail said all those who were released today in conjunction with the 66th National Day celebration have the opportunity to return to their families and start work earlier than their scheduled release in February.
He said so far a total of 256 prisoners have been released under the PBSL Ihsan Madani programme.
In NEGRI SEMBILAN, a total of 46 prisoners from the Jelebu Drug Rehabilitation Institution were released on licence.
Senior Assistant Commissioner Ahmad Mustaqim Che Bisi said the strategic collaboration between the Prisons Department and the industry through the CSI initiative allows these PBSL inmates to be placed in the industry with guaranteed employment and placement until the completion of their sentence.
"I am also very moved by the support shown by industry players in this state," he said. – Bernama