Sept 09, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Commissioner General of Prisons Chandraratna Pallegama said that the country's prisons are severely overcrowded.
He said that seven prisoners are housed in some instances in the cells made for one prisoner. This has caused severe anxiety among the prisoners and the health conditions such as skin diseases have increased.
The Commissioner said that at present, 27 prisons island wide house 27,000 prisoners including remand prisoners. Half the inmates are remand prisoners languishing in the jails until their cases heard in courts.
The problems like drug peddling among prisoners, prisoners using illegal equipment like mobile phones and rights violations among prisoners are high due to this situation, prison sources say.
Prisons and Prison reforms Minister of Sri Lanka Chandrasiri Gajadeera said in parliament last year that of about 25,000 offenders entering the prison system annually 43 percent are repeat offenders.
Repeat offenders, the Minister pointed out were one of the main reasons for the overcrowding of prisons. He told parliament that the solution to the issue is a proper rehabilitation system.