Bill moots open prison for inmates with good conduct

Kathmandu, March 25

A bill on the Determination and Implementation of Punishment in Criminal Offences, which is under consideration in the Parliament, has proposed to allow 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 jail sentence and has demonstrated good conduct, to open prison,” reads the bill. 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 the period under the prescribed terms and conditions.

“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.

Earlier, the government had announced that it would implement new concepts of open prison and rehabilitation house to ease the pressure of

jailbirds on the already crowded prisons by making timely amendment to the existing laws. Meanwhile, the Department of Prison Management has already moved ahead with the process of adopting open prison policy to turn the prisons into correction centres.

An open prison is defined as a place other than prison where inmates are allowed to go out and do certain work

The government has acquired a plot of land, around 535 ropanis, in Banke district for the construction of open prison with the capacity of over 5,000 persons. The period of stay in open prison shall be deemed as imprisonment. 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.