State Minister for Home Affairs Mohamed Fayaz has outlined some of the issues concerning the Department of Penitentiary and Rehabilitation Services (DPRS) at a ceremony marking its 41st anniversary, reports Sun Online.
Fayaz said that the department was failing to execute court rulings, with less than 25 percent of 2000 people sentenced to prison behind bars when the current government took office in February.
He argued that punishments such as exile and house arrest were obsolete as island councils were refusing to accept convicts and the department did not have the resources to monitor those subsequently placed under house arrest.
“Councils do not accept exiles. We have no choice but to put them under house arrest. They go out into society, and commit more crimes. The commissioner complained to me, when the same person had to be brought in five times within one week. What can we do?” Sun reported Fayaz as saying.
Fayaz also raised the issue of prison capacity, saying that the maximum number of inmates the system can hold is 1100, whilst the current need is 2000.
“Criminals will not hesitate to commit crimes, if they know they will not be subjected to the due punishment,” he said.