Commissioner of Prisons Ahmed Mohamed Fulhu has said government efforts would see capacity at jails increased to accomodate 266 more prisoners.
Speaking to the media on Sunday, Fulhu said the current administration had undertaken several efforts to improve jail conditions over the past three years. In this regard, the capacity of jails has been increased by 250. Male' Prison can now hold 50 more prisoners, while a Special Management Unit with the capacity to hold 100 prisoners have been established at Maafushi Jail, Fulhu said.
Furthermore, the detention area in Hulhumale' Prison designated for foreigners can now hold an additional 100 people, Fulhu said. Sixteen delinquents can be held at the juvenile detention center being established at Himmafushi. The detention center will be completed next month, he said. When the detention center is in use, the total number of slots added to jails over the past three years would be 266, he said.
At the same press conference, Home Minister Imran Abdulla said the final preparations to move Male' Prison to Hulhumale' are underway. While the practical work will commence next year, Imran said when the project is complete, the remand capacity in jails will increase significantly.
Reports compiled by the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) have, on several occasions, raised concern about overcrowding at jails and failure to rehabilitate convicts. HRCM has also expressed concern over the failure to follow recommendations in the reports.
Maldives Correctional Service has previously said while the number of prisoners increases year on year, it is challenging to obtain enough resources and staff due to budget constraints.