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* More prisons not a solution for Sri Lanka's overcrowding prisons - Minister
Fri, Nov 30, 2012, 01:49 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 30, Colombo: Prisons and Prison reforms Minister of Sri Lanka Chandrasiri Gajadeera says that increasing the number of prisons in the country would not address the issue of overcrowding prisons.

He has told parliament that the solution to the issue is a proper rehabilitation system.

The Minister has explained that currently there are about 25,000 offenders entering the prison system annually and that 43 percent of these are repeat offenders.

Repeat offenders, the Minister pointed out was one of the main reasons for the overcrowding of prisons.

According to Gajadeera, the Ministry is looking at amending some legislation in order to address this issue.

He noted that while there are about 2,000 remand prisoners, some 804 of them are languishing in prison due to the inability to pay their fines.

The government is continuing with the plan to build new prisons in Matara, Tangalle and Jaffna. The prison being built in Pallekele will be opened shortly, the Minister informed.

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