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MACHANG, April 8 -- The Prisons Department has created 13 satellite prisons nationwide since early this year to overcome congestion.
Its Inmate Management Division director, Prisons Commissioner Ajidin Salleh said the satellite prisons were created by using former National Service Training Programmes (PLKN) camps which could house 400 to 500 convicts.
‘’The satellite prison is among the initiatives taken to reduce prison congestion whereby new convicts involved in minor offences will be housed in 13 satellite prison locations, including two in Kelantan, namely, in Batu Jong, Kuala Krai and also Pasir Mas.
‘’In addition, the satellite prisons are used as screening zones for offenders to undergo COVID-19 swab tests before being taken to the main prisons,’’ he said after launching the Master Of Trainer Module Five Minute Intervention (FMI) and a Dance-exercise Course at the Moral Rehabilitation Centre in Machang.
He said the department was not denying the fact that its prisons on the East Coast, involving Kelantan, Terengganu were congested, besides also those in Sabah and the Klang Valley, which have exceeded 50 per cent from the stipulated capacity.
Ajidin said the department has also taken the initiative to implement the Licensed Release of Prisoners Programme (PBSL) for the early release of convicts to overcome congestion.
According to statistics, he said community rehabilitation programmes were more effective because former convicts would be assisted in seeking employment in their respective local companies including the plantation, manufacturing and other sectors.
‘’We also hope those who are released early could be recruited by their previous employers or prospective employers,’’ he said, adding that 1,000 inmates nationwide had been freed under the PBSL programme since November last year.