Prisoners’ demands: CPRP to seek assurances from candidates

The Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners (CPRP) will be putting forward five demands to the Presidential candidates, who wish to garner the approximately 500,000 votes of prisoners and their families, at next month’s Presidential Election.

The demands will be put forward at a prisoners’ summit, scheduled for 24 October, at 10:00 a.m., at the Colombo Public Library.

The demands are repealing the death penalty from legislation, halting of acts of the killing of prisoners and torture, cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment, making a considerable budgetary allocation for the subject of prison reforms, putting in place a proper rehabilitation programme based on social sciences, and addressing law delays.    

Speaking to Ceylon Today, Committee Chairman, Attorney-at-Law Senaka Perera, explained that it was the absence of a proper rehabilitation programme that resulted in the prisoners’ escalation of criminality upon release from prison, a situation which he observed could not be remedied by getting prisoners to grow flowers or to attend religious activities. 

As for an adequate budgetary allocation, he noted that shortcomings in this had resulted in a litany of complaints concerning prisoners’ meals and clothing. On the matter of law delays, he pointed out that there were suspects who had been enlarged on bail sometimes for years, adding that this resulted in a form of victimization akin to double jeopardy.

“The prisoners and their families will vote for the candidate who provides an acceptable solution in writing,” he added.

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