Hamzah: Segregation of prisoners being planned.

Hamzah: Segregation of prisoners being planned.

KAJANG: The government plans to segregate prison inmates according to the severity of their offences and punishment, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said.

He said to date there are over 45,000 prisoners in 39 prisons nationwide and there is no segregation between the hardcore and petty criminals.

“The minor offenders should be placed in a special area where they are allowed to work under some programmes arranged by the government,“ he told a press conference in conjunction with the 230th Prisons Day celebration at Kajang Prison, here today.

Hamzah added that the move could cut costs as the government spends quite a sum on the management of prisons in the country.

“Through segregation, we can also minimise interaction between inmates and reduce the likelihood of a prisoner being influenced to commit other or more serious crimes,” he said.

In another development, Hamzah said the ministry was in the midst of considering the number of prisoners to be included under the licensed prisoner release programme (PBSL).

“So many have applied but only those who fulfill the prescribed conditions after strict screening will be able to participate in the programme.

Under the PSBL programme introduced by the government, those selected will be released for seven days with certain conditions before returning to where they had been placed in the prison to complete their remaining sentence.

Among the conditions, the prisoners must have served a sentence of not less than four years, has a remaining sentence of not more than one year and not less than two months. — Bernama