Prisons dept in dire need of transit houses for female ex-inmates

The prison department urgently needs a halfway house for convicts, because 15 of the country’s prisons only accept men.

The Deputy Commissioner General of Prisons, Ibrisam Abd Rahman, hopes that NGOs will be involved in giving those who were arrested in the past half, as well as prisoners who have been released from custody. “The department needs a halfway house to house inmates who have been released but have no family or home to return to.

“They need a place to stay temporarily while they look for work,” he said during a speech at the “Youturn Day: Welcoming Prisoners Back to the Society” event organized by Suhakam and an NGO called Malaysian Care. Suhakam Commissioner Noor Aziah Awal said that the same issue was raised during his visit to the prison in Sabah, which asked the inmates to work in providing half a house.

“From what I know, the budget of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development is not enough to support the financing and maintenance of these transit houses. “Therefore, NGOs and the prison sector should work together to solve the problem,” he said.

Meanwhile, CARE’s Malaysian director, Alvin Lim, said they will help Catholic prisons to open a halfway house for ex-prisoners in the Klang Valley. He said, based on their experience, it would cost about RM20,000 per month to maintain a medium-sized house. This includes hiring three permanent staff to look after the building and its residents.

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