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Surge in police raids creates overcrowding chaos in Prisons

23 December 2023 06:13 am - 28     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Colombo, Dec 23 (Daily Mirror) - Prisons across the country are facing a serious problem of too many people crammed into limited space. The situation has gotten worse due to increased police operations, with over 10,000 suspects nabbed in a recent crackdown on drugs and underworld activities.

Recent data from the Prisons Department shows that there are a whopping 30,000 inmates detained in 30 prisons across the country, even though these facilities are meant to hold only around 13,000 inmates.

It was reported that more than half of the inmates in prison are awaiting trial, stuck behind bars for a long time because of delays in the legal process.

The Police last week launched an island-wide operation to curb drug-related and underworld activities, where more than 10,000 suspects have been arrested.

Public Security Ministry sources said that those arrested for serious crimes such as possession of drugs will be put in jail, while those accused of minor offences might be let out on police bail.

The prisons were built to hold about 13,000 inmates, but they currently house double that number.

Prisons spokesman Gamini Dissanayake said that to manage this overcrowding, officials are trying to find temporary space within the prisons for suspects who will be held for a short period.

He said some inmates are also being moved to prison camps to ease the pressure on regular prisons.

At the same time, authorities are working to speed up the release of people held for minor offences after their court hearings.


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  Comments - 28

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  • Mohan Saturday, 23 December 2023 07:36 AM

    Convicted prisoners should be put through a rehabilitation program similar to the one given for LTTE members, so that they contribute to the economy and are not a burden to the government. Also, some of the money they make could be given to their families.

    Ravana Saturday, 23 December 2023 02:19 PM

    Income made in prison could be divided into 3. One third for prison maintenance, one third for prisoner's family and one third into bank savings account in the prisoner's name which will accumulate interest till the prisoner's release.

    NImal Saturday, 23 December 2023 07:38 AM

    Finally a great move is being taken by the police and the govt. Drug mafia is the one of the biggest problem this country's facing. No sympathy for these criminals having hard time in prisons.

    Robin Banks Saturday, 23 December 2023 07:39 AM

    Nabbing the 40 or so large scale drug importers will solve 90 percent of the illicit drug based crime in the country, Which in turn will solve the aforementioned problem. The main problem is the government is reluctant to get to the root of the cause because of the unhealthy dynamic between large scale criminals and politicians. The current batch of politicians are focused on media coverage rather than finding a lasting solution.

    Jude Saturday, 23 December 2023 07:39 AM

    Don't do The crime if you can't do the time!!

    Mobile Courts for Minor Cases Saturday, 23 December 2023 07:48 AM

    Have a few special courts to clear the minor cases. They can be mobile courts with extended hours. Btw, they should have anticipated this situation but as usual, no long term planning by those who started this crackdown

    Store them in Hambantota Saturday, 23 December 2023 04:47 PM

    Store them at Hambantota “ white elephant “ projects like the World Trade Center, airport

    Jude Saturday, 23 December 2023 07:49 AM

    Hey Balasuriya, how much the criminals paid you to print this Crap!???

    Mahila Saturday, 23 December 2023 07:51 AM

    To reduce The Population of Prisoners DO the same thing That was done during 2004-1014!!!??? Start a Riot and send STF to do the menial Task!!!??? What a retarded state of BEGOTS!!!!??? They had answers for all sorts of issues and problems, when the Former Excellency of Supreme Value was Secretary Defence, misnomer as Minister of defence!!!??? Misnomer!!!??? We don’t follow US system but the British traditional system – PUBLIC SERVANT!!!??? Never followed Public administration Protocol!!?? Why Not Now!!!??? We have greater friends in Polity!? You know Appache??? THE GRETEST CON-ARTIST – All-Times!!??

    Mattala Rice warehouse Saturday, 23 December 2023 08:07 AM

    Accommodate the extra criminals in parliament until the congestion clears.

    Sam Silva Saturday, 23 December 2023 06:55 PM

    Yes. Make it permanent .

    Mahila Sunday, 24 December 2023 09:55 PM

    None would Differentiate nor Discriminate!!?? Birds of the SAME Feather!!!??? They would Get-On like a "HOUSE ON FIRE"!!!??? Free Lunch at Welikada State Guest House, so is at Parliament House for the Privileged!!!??? Tax Payer Funding!!!??? Expect VAT UP next Budget to 21%, cover cost!!!???

    ANTON Saturday, 23 December 2023 08:08 AM

    MAJORITY OF OUR HARDLY RARNED TAX MONEY GOES TO PRISONS TO NOURISH THESE PEOPLE INCLUDING MILLIONAIRE DRUG DEALRS AND UNDERWORLD THUGS.

    Tronald Dump Saturday, 23 December 2023 08:31 AM

    Prisons overcrowding is because courts give longer prison terms and strict punishing drug related offenses. Also many people are in jail 'cos they cannot pay bail or get a good lawyer. Some are sent to prison even though they do not pose a threat. All boils down to the govt. does not give enough money to Prisons so they cannot expand.

    Lk Saturday, 23 December 2023 08:51 AM

    Our prison service is outdated and we are punishing the offenders not rehabilitating them . What do you want from them ?/to continue in their crimes?/or make them productive people ? What is wrong with our judges ? Why can not we do some reform in our prison service H A half of these people should be sent to do community service and some kind of training to make them useful people Punishment alone would not do any good Have some alternative methods to reform them.. Judges and judiciary can not behave like our angry politicians.. We should punish the big one who are bring it to the country Go after all politicians who did this to this country

    Who cares for noise makers? Saturday, 23 December 2023 09:09 AM

    This new group are parasites in the society. They pose a big threat to the law abiding citizens as well to the young generation who have to take over the future of this nation. Only way to control them is to keep them confined to prison and deny all comforts. This may hurt some people who may benefit from this viruses, but let us ignore them.

    Natalie Nanayaka Saturday, 23 December 2023 09:17 AM

    How about the drug importers within the parliament? Root cause of all our problems are sitting there.

    Natalie Nanayaka Saturday, 23 December 2023 09:24 AM

    We need to build more prisons to house all the criminal pohotuwa politicians once JVP comes into power. Pack a sarong and a tooth brush Tiran. you are going on a summer holiday.

    Punchi Saturday, 23 December 2023 10:11 AM

    Why can’t we feed them to the fish like what we did to those in our 30 year war and during our disagreements with the JVP. The fish will become well fed and bigger fish can be harvested to feed us.

    ExSoldier Saturday, 23 December 2023 11:15 AM

    Put them into army camps.

    Mohamed Burhan Saturday, 23 December 2023 02:22 PM

    10000 more to be fed 3 times meal.no joke.

    Mohamed Burhan Saturday, 23 December 2023 02:28 PM

    How can prison dept. cope? Toilets need to be aifreshned with cans of airfreshners.

    Anthony. R Sunday, 24 December 2023 12:04 AM

    Please stop dressing the masses as Cattle. And those who are Distroying their reputation as a print media by publishing this rubbish in their so far reputed news paper. As a cop do your job,you are paid to do. Big cop follow your job description accordingly and stop blowing your own trumpet. Shame

    Citizen Sunday, 24 December 2023 08:34 AM

    Did they not expect to arrest anyone when they started this raid? Absolutely no plan, just like everything else. What a pathetic system!

    Sokrates Sunday, 24 December 2023 09:15 AM

    I could never understand why people are in prison who have stolen 3 coconuts or cannot pay a fine of Rs 1,000 or bail. These petty criminals are a burden on taxpayers because we have to pay for accommodation, food and guarding in prisons. It's also understandable to me that Crooks like Maithri, who don't pay their millions-rupies fine, are walking around freely.

    Mahila Sunday, 24 December 2023 10:16 PM

    Bear in Mind, he was HE (2015-2019) and holding the EXALTED position of Defence Minister at the final stages of 30 Year war, Eliminating the LTTE on 9th May 2009 - his own admission and claim - because then President MaRa, was overseas, who entrusted the responsibility to HIS MOST TRUSTED AID THEN IN HIS CABINET!!!??? No wonder, he was found culpable, (that after such a Feat of eliminating the worst Terrorist in the world) he couldn't or wouldn't do anything Tangible to Thwart the ZAHRAN manifested Menace of 04/19 Easter Sunday (250 dead and 500 grievously injured), except pay a visit to Thirupathy Temple, invoke god's blessing to escape the wrath of the people!!!??? So his B--- Squeezing Pal ensured FREEDOM – Privileged!!!???

    Tissa Fernando Monday, 25 December 2023 08:09 AM

    Well, who cares, criminals loose their rights when they take out other people's right to live peacefully. I have no remorse for these criminals. But there are criminals among the 225 and they are enjoying life, that because we have elected them.

    Michael Judd Tuesday, 26 December 2023 06:57 AM

    Here's an idea.... A street and beach cleaning gang.... to curb the increase in waste management. Work for your sentence period.


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