Another 336 inmates received remission
OAP: With the establishment of the open-air prison system since 2013, a total of 528 inmates were deployed in open-air prisons until last month.
Records with police show that of the total, 44 defaulted while 10 inmates were sent back on medical grounds. A total of 346 inmates were released from open-air prisons.
Today there are 128 inmates serving open-air prison term in various lhakhang renovation and construction sites across the country.
According to police, defaulters are those who try to escape when at open-air and abuse drugs, among others. They are not entitled the wage they earned and the money goes to the prisoner welfare fund.
As of December last year, Nu 340,000 has been generated as prisoner welfare fund from Nu 72,000 in 2013.
The welfare fund, according to police is to support inmates who don’t receive support from their families or are from deprived families.
“Before the start of -air prison system, we didn’t have the prisoner welfare scheme,” police chief Brigadier Kipchu Namgyal said. “After 44 defaulters, we could generate the fund.”
The open-air prison system was introduced to reduce overcrowding in prisons and enable prisoners to earn income, and live with their family members before their prison term ends. While serving the open-air prison term, inmates are sent to work with common people, with the hope that it would help to decriminalize and reintegrate them into mainstream society.
Police said that before letting prisoners to open-air prison, inmates have to take undertaking with a guarantor, who should shoulder the responsibility to re-arrest or serve the sentence if the prisoner absconds.
“Open-air prisoners contribute labour like on woola and lead normal lives with just two policemen guarding them,” Brigadier Kipchu Namgyal said. “Their spouses, children or family members can also live with them.”
Besides the open-air prison system, 336 inmates received remission as of last year under the remission project. The remission project or good conduct allowance was initiated on March 23 in 2013 when the open-air prison system was started.
According to police, the remission project was initiated to provide a second chance to the inmates who behave well while serving term.
The project was initiated to provide privileges and incentives to those prisoners who were willing to adapt to changes and to abandon their old habits, and to inspire prisoners by showing them that there is a legal way to be released from the prison.
Prisoners who conduct well while serving time get a month’s remission every year.