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Prisons dept mulls off-days from jail to solve overcrowding

The emergency management days system has been used in many countries, where prisoners can apply to leave jail, including during personal emergencies, on certain conditions, especially good behaviour.

Staff Writers
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Prison officers stand at the entrance of Sungai Buloh Prison.
Prison officers stand at the entrance of Sungai Buloh Prison.

Prison authorities are considering allowing emergency management days (EMD) for low-risk prisoners as one of several measures to address the problem of overcrowded jails nationwide.

The prisons department said this was one of five measures to reduce congestion in prisons, including Sungai Buloh Prison where it said there had been some success.

"Through the measures taken, the problem of overcrowding at Sungai Buloh Prison has been reduced. There is an excess of 36% compared to the maximum capacity of 4,200 prisoners, which is an additional 20% of existing capacity," the department said.

The EMD has been used in many countries, where prisoners can apply to leave jail, including during personal emergencies, on certain conditions, especially good behaviour.

The department said apart from the EMD proposal, it is also installing double decker beds in cells and dormitories.

Prison authorities are also focusing on rehabilitation through community activities involving 82,487 inmates, as well as working with the courts to speed up trials.

The department said former sites used for the National Service Training Programme and satellite prisons will also be utilised to house inmates.

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