20 inmates disqualified from release programme

Twenty inmates have been disqualified from the government’s release programme after testing positive for drug use, Home Minister Hassan Afeef told state broadcaster MNBC One today.

Afeef explained that as most inmates in the country’s prisons were incarcerated for drug use, convicts chosen for release were subject to drug tests during their evaluation and interviewing process.

The list of inmates to be released has now been finalised, said Afeef.

On Independence Day, July 26, President Mohamed Nasheed announced that close to 400 convicts would be offered “a second chance” and released under a national rehabilitation programme.

The convicts are to be released on condition that they do not commit any offence in a three-year period along with compulsory participation in rehabilitation or training programmes.

Afeef explained that job placements had been secured for the convicts at government companies, while a mentor will be assigned to each released inmate to supervise their reintegration into society.