Nov 24, 2020

Measures to reduce prison congestion

On the instructions of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, State Minister of Prison Reforms and Prisoners Rehabilitation Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle has initiated discussions on various measures that could be taken to reduce prison congestion.

It has been observed that 73 percent of the prison population are remand prisoners, remanded mostly for possession of drugs and it is a major cause of overcrowding in prisons.

Accordingly, a report containing their information has been submitted to the Ministry of Justice to expedite the proceedings of the inmates who have been remanded for possession of less than 2g of heroin and 5kg of cannabis.

State Minister Dr. Fernandopulle is scheduled to meet the Minister of Justice Ali Sabry tomorrow to brief him on various measures that can be taken regarding prison congestion, including delays in forensic reports and the current situation in prisons.

The State Minister has previously held discussions with Minister of Justice Ali Sabry, President's Counsel UR de Silva, Head, of Judicial Infrastructure Committee, officers of the Attorney General's Department and Police Department regarding possible steps to be taken to expedite the proceedings of remand prisoners for drug offenses and to direct them to a special rehabilitation process or to grant them bail.

As a result of the discussion, the Commissioner General of Prisons Thushara Upuldeniya has sent a report to the Secretary to the Ministry of Justice, Priyantha Mayadunne, to expedite legal action against 6334 remand prisoners who have been remanded for possession of less than 2g of heroin and 5kg of cannabis.


(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by has not been edited by SLM staff)