State Minister of Prison Management and Prisoners Rehabilitation Lohan Ratwatte emphasizing on the present congestion in prison given the rising numbers of inmates, stated that the government to reduce the number at least by 8000.
He stated this addressing the inaugural meeting of the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Justice chaired by the Minister of Justice Ali Sabry in Parliament.
The State Minister pointed out that there are 28,951 inmates in the 28 prisons across the country at present causing a considerable congestion. Accordingly, the Minister stated that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has issued a directive to release inmates who can be granted a pardon especially given the COVID situation.
Accordingly, he stated that as soon as approval is given to the cabinet paper presented by the Ministry of Justice, the four-year pardon which has not been granted for nearly 20 years could be given.
Thus, all prisoners under death sentence will have their sentence reduced to 20 years and those who have served a sentence for more than 20 years will be released.
The State Minister also said that the Ministry intents to settle minor amounts of bail on behalf of prisoners who are in prison due to their inability to pay it. (Parliament)