Aug 22, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government is considering using minor offenders in the many development programmes initiated in the country instead of incarcerating them in prisons.
The Community Based Corrections Department has said that necessary measures have already been taken for the purpose.
An annual statistical report published by the Prisons Department states that about 91 percent of the prison population is minor offenders.
Senior Community Corrections Officer P.V.S. Senaratne has said the minor offenders who were sent for community work on a community corrections order, would be used for the development programmes.
Senaratne has said a programme has already been initiated to make use of minor offenders for rural development projects such as road construction works and for agrarian services.
He has observed that under the programme minor offenders have helped in the renovation of four tanks in Walasmulla area, construction of religious places and helped in environmental protection programmes in the country.
Reports state that the money spent on a prisoner to serve a one-year sentence is Rs. 85,000.