Lohan Ratwatte hoped to release prisoners under a four-year review system
State Minister of Prison Management Lohan Ratwatte says he expects President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to approve the method of releasing prisoners under the four-year review system.
Speaking to the media in Kandy, the State Minister said the release of prisoners under the four-year review system has been suspended since 1998.
He said more than 30,000 prisoners are detained in the prison system when he assumed duties as State Minister.
The State Minister Ratwatte added that close to 11,000 inmates detained for minor offences have been released due to overcrowding.
He noted 18,000 prisoners were housed in a system that can only hold 12,000.
The State Minister explained the four-year review system will reduce prisoners on death row, to a life sentence, while reducing those on a life sentence to twenty years based on their behaviour.
Accordingly the State Minister hoped the President would approve the review before Vesak in order to release prisoners over 65 years of age and those who have spent more than 15 years in the system.
(Courtesy: News Radio)
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There should be rehabilitation assessments conducted annually for all prisoners.
This should include written tests and oral interviews and behavioral monitoring.
Those who score high marks (distinctions) continuously over a period of three years should earn their release.
Persons are sent to prison not as punishment but to undergo a rehabilitation process.
Hope Hon Minister Lohan Ratwatte considers this way forward.
Dear Roxie Aunty,
You are 100% correct.
Being sent to prison should not be a punishment but a process to rehabilitate the individual and release the person into society to be a useful, productive and law abiding citizen.
The taxpayer spends money on the rehabilitation process with expectations of the return to society.
Minister Ratwatte should lead the charge on this matter.
Your testing regime is also fantastic.
However, there should no discrimination where minority (Tamil, Muslim) prisoners will be required to gain higher scores than their Sinhala speaking counterparts to gain freedom.