MoHA asks DoPM to lay groundwork for allowing inmates to work outside prison

An inmate in open prison will not be entitled to ration and clothing

Kathmandu, August 29

The Ministry of Home Affairs has directed the Department of Prison Management to lay necessary groundwork for allowing inmates to be sent to open prison where they may take up employment while serving their sentence.

A press release issued by personal secretariat of Minister for Home Affairs Janardan Sharma said he wanted the DoPM to do the needful to implement the concept of open prison as provisioned by the existing laws. “We should explore the possibility of allowing eligible, honest and interested jailbirds to sell their labour outside the jail as per the spirit of the 84-point Home Administration Reform Roadmap, 2017,” he told the DoPM.

Speaking at the ministry-level Development Problem Solution Committee’s meeting organised at his office in Singha Durbar yesterday, Minister Sharma said he was committed to implementing the roadmap. “I unveiled the roadmap not to earn momentary popularity and get coverage in media but to bring about changes in home administration,” he said.

On the occasion, DoPM, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, National Investigation Department, Department of Immigration, Police Record Management Department and other agencies under the MoHA had presented their annual development review.

The Criminal Offences (Punishment Determination and Implementation) Act recently passed by the Parliament allows inmates, who have served at least two-thirds of the sentence, to be sent to an open prison.

“The judge may, on the recommendation of the prison chief, send any prisoner, who has served at least two-thirds of the jail sentence and has demonstrated good conduct, to open prison,” reads the act. It has defined open prison as any place other than the prison specified by the government to hold prisoners in such a manner that he/she is allowed to go outside the place where he/she is detained and do certain work during a certain period of time.

“If the prisoner enjoying facilities of open prison fail to abide the terms and conditions prescribed by the government or commit any offence during the period, he/she shall be sent back to the prison to serve the remaining or fresh sentence,” it said.

A prisoner who stays in open prison shall not be entitled to ration, clothing and medical treatment expenses.

A person convicted of crimes including rape, murder, corruption, jailbreak, evasion of customs, abduction and hostage-taking, drug smuggling, proliferation of arms and ammunition, banking offence, human trafficking, and trading in body parts of endangered wild animals and objects of archaeological significance will not be entitled to open prison.