Kathmandu, February 3
The Department of Prison Management is working on a draft of the procedure related to engaging prisoners in work.
According to Section 31 of the Criminal Code Act, a prison may engage jailbirds in public work as per his/her wish. Any prisoner, who has been imprisoned for a term of three years or above, attained the age of at least 18 years and is physically healthy may be engaged in work.
“One day shall be reduced from the total jail sentence for three days of work,” states the act.
An official at the DoPM informed that the draft of proposed procedure was also in accordance with the budget speech of the fiscal 2018/19 and would be submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs for approval.
However, the concerned court will take into account the nature and gravity of the offence, his/her age, conduct, circumstances of the offence and modus operandi of the crime before issuing such an order.
It requires the court to take the consent of the convict before ordering him/her to perform community service.
In case of failure to perform the work as ordered by the court and prison, the concerned convict will be sent back to prison.
Anyone convicted of murder, rape, human trafficking, possession of arms and ammunition, corruption, robbery, wildlife crime, drug smuggling, theft of ancient monument, among others, will be eligible to serve in public work.
Similarly, the DoPM is preparing to implement a provision of engaging offenders in community service. Any persons, who has been sentenced to up to six months in prison, may be ordered to perform community service instead of serving the jail sentence as per the provision.
Community service is unpaid work by an offender for a civic or non-profit organisation such as hospital, old age home, orphanage, public or community school, and institutions working for environment protection and sports training.
The concerned organisation where the offender performs community service will not be obliged to pay him/her for the community service he/she does during the period.
A version of this article appears in print on February 04, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.