Sabah prisons have exceeded capacity
Published on: Tuesday, June 11, 2019
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Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Prisons’ Board of Visiting Justices (LHP) is concerned over overcrowded prisons in the State. 

Its Chairperson Datuk Katherine Lee Mei Oi (pic) said the prisons have exceeded their capacity for inmates.  

“It is one of the duties of LHP to inspect prison blocks. We find the prison blocks, supposedly to accommodate only 5,000 inmates, have exceeded the capacity by having 9,000 inmates at one time. 

“The additional capacity creates stress and tension not only among the inmates but also has an impact on prison personnel. 

“One of the causes of this problem is the prison sentences imposed on those who committed petty crimes,” she told the media after paying a courtesy call on Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin at the Istana Negeri, here, Monday.

The visit was to inform Juhar on the condition of the prisons in Sabah as well as to propose measures to resolve them. 

“Punishment in the form of community service for petty crimes like theft, drug abuse and immigration-related offences is among measures that can be considered to reduce the number of inmates in prisons. 

“At the same time, this will enable the convicts to serve the community.

“For example, inmates supervised by prison security personnel can provide services like cutting grass in the park or office compound and cleaning clogged drain, river and industrial waste.

“A community service sentence is more beneficial, apart from saving expenditure as well as cost shouldered by the Government,” she said. 

Lee urged the court to re-study the matter and consider implementing community service punishment that matches the offence.

“Currently there are only five inmates doing community service punishment compared to up to 100 previously,” she said. 

Meanwhile, Golden Borneo Million Executive Director Hidayati Md Nor also led a delegation to pay a courtesy visit on Juhar’s wife, Toh Puan Norlidah RM Jasni, who is also Yayasan Nur Jauhar (YNJ) Advisor, to express interest to collaborate with YNJ in assisting the underprivileged community. 


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