Rehab trumps building new prisons: Minister


The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Tue, July 23 2013, 4:41 PM

Law and Human Rights Minister Amir Syamsuddin believes releasing drug addicts from prison and placing them in rehabilitation programs can reduce overcrowding in the country’s prisons.

He said this option was more rational than just building more prisons.

“I tend to oppose the idea of building new prisons,” Amir said during a ceremony granting remission to child inmates held on Tuesday as reported by kompas.com.

Regarding the idea of releasing drug addicts, he suggested they should be placed in rehabilitation centers instead of prisons.

He said prisons should be for drug dealers or producers, not just addicts, especially the young.

He said 56,000 out of 117,000 inmates in prisons throughout the nation were on drug charges and many of them were just drug addicts. Therefore, he added, if the government managed to come up with a new regulation that would split drug users from dealers, it would reduce the number of inmates significantly.

The statement was responding to recent criticism that almost every prison in Indonesia was overcrowded. In many cases, this problem had led into riots, crippling the management of the prison for days. (hrl/dic)

SOURCE Writer: Haeril Halim/The Jakarta Post

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