AG advice sought on prisoners

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The advice of the Attorney General has been sought to reduce congestions in prisons by releasing those imprisoned for minor crimes.Prisons Commissioner Chandraratna Pallegama said that most inmates who were imprisoned for minor crimes are unable to pay their fines. He said that at the Welikada prison there are 174 inmates, Magazine prison 210 inmates and Colombo 91 inmates who are unable to pay their fines.As a result the Attorney General’s advice has been sought to have some of these inmates freed.Report by Indika Sri Aravinda Pallegama says the government is having to pay for food and as maintenance costs for the prisoners, much more than the fine imposed on them by the Court. He said that some inmates had to pay Rs. 10 as a fine and yet could not do so and so they remain in prison. There are 20 prisons and 14 detention centers in Sri Lanka and in total they can accommodate less than 20,000 inmates.However Pallegama says there are more than 25,000 inmates in total in all the prisons resulting in overcrowding.

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