Dec 08, Colombo: The Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka announced that an agreement was signed between the Justice Ministry, the Department of Prisons and ICTA to digitalize facilities for prison inmates, at a ceremony held recently.
This initiative was introduced due to the safety and mental health concerns posed by Covid-19 on the prison inmates. In addition, the initiative seeks to mitigate the risk of the spreading of the virus due to overcrowding, when transporting inmates to courthouses, and when family members visit inmates.
Under this project, ‘Virtual Court Producing’ and ‘Virtual Court Visitations’ will be introduced. ‘Virtual Court Producing’ allows inmates to be produced before the judge through an online video conferencing system. In addition, ‘Virtual Visitations’ will be introduced considering offenders’ fundamental right to maintain contact with their family, friends, and lawyers. This mechanism will relieve the current suspension of physical visits by family members. ICTA will provide the technical assistance to implement the new system in collaboration with the Justice Ministry and the Department of Prisons.
The pilot phase will be implemented in four Western Province prisons and 10 courthouses. The agreement was signed in the presence of the Justice Secretary Justice K. Mayadunna, ICTA Chairman Oshada Senanayake, ICTA Chief Digital Officer Kanchana Thudugala, ICTA Line of Business Director Amila Kularatne, and the Commissioner-General of Prisons H.M.T.N Upuldeniya.