Prisons overcrowded by 180%

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Prisons around the country are overcrowded to such an extent, that at present they hold approximately 24,000 inmates, which is more than 180 per cent of the capacity.

Prisons Spokesman Chandana Ekanayake said the majority of inmates are suspects and nearly 15,000 of them are lodged in all prisons, with nearly 7,500 facing drug-related charges.

He said the maximum capacity of all prisons put together is 13,200, but there a currently around 24,000 inmates cramped into them.

He added that some prisons hold more than 200 to 300 per cent of their capacity.

“According to Prisons Department statistics, there has been a gradual increase in the number of individuals imprisoned on various charges since the beginning of 2022. According to statistics, the Government has set aside Rs 4.7 billion for food for these inmates in 2022/2023. As a result, it is possible to conclude that there is a higher likelihood of being incarcerated,” he said.

Further, Ekanayake noted that the Prisons Department has requested that the Justice Ministry take action to reduce prison congestion.

BY Thameenah Razeek