Laws will be introduced soon to replace imprisonment with house-arrest on account of minor offences, said justice minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe.
Such suspects will be kept under the care of their parents or some other custodians for specified durations, he said.
This will prevent them from associating with hardened criminals in prison and themselves turning to crime later on.
The laws will be formulated in consultation with the Bar Association and legal experts.
Once they are in place, magistrates can order drug addicts and first-time minor offenders to be kept under house arrest, said the minister.
He was speaking at ‘Shilpa Sira Sara’ industrial and sales exhibition by prisoners at Diyatha Uyana in Battaramulla yesterday (27).