The Government yesterday (12) launched a programme to establish industries in all prisons, with the aim of making inmates more productive in society after their release from prison.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Prisons Department and the Industrial Development Board (IDB) at the Justice Ministry yesterday (12) to establish industries in all prisons.
Through the MoU, entrepreneurs and industrialists will have more opportunities to establish industries in all the prisons and the IDB and the Prisons Department will offer certificates to the inmates who are trained in the industries.
Through this, prisoners spend their time serving their punishment more meaningfully and use their prison time for development activities. It also gives the prisoners the opportunity to carry out their own industries after being released from prison, the Justice and Prison Affairs Ministry said.
Commenting after the signing of the MoU, Commissioner General of Prisons Thushara Upuldeniya said this will strengthen the industrial work currently being done by the inmates in the prisons.
Currently, some 11,000 inmates are in prison. Some 5,000 of them are currently engaged in various industries. By signing the new agreement, the remaining 6,000 can be used for industrial activities. Through this, the incarcerated person and the country get a big advantage. During the time the inmates are in prison, this will enable them to earn some money for the government’s expenses on their behalf. Also, even after being released from prison, they can become useful persons in society by working in the industry for which they have been trained. The main purpose of this is to make the time spent in prison meaningful.
The Commissioner General said that they will also provide certificates for the workers who are engaged in industrial activities introduced by the IDB. IDB Chairman Saranga Alahapperuma said the main purpose of signing this MoU is to make the inmates productive persons for the country and society. Entrepreneurs and industrialists are invited to set up industries in the prison premises. The Justice Ministry and Industries Ministry have given necessary instructions for this.
The IDB Chairman said, “To get out of poverty, you need to be economically strong. This is a good opportunity for inmates who are imprisoned for various reasons to strengthen themselves as persons with talent.”
Justice Ministry Secretary M.N. Ranasinghe and other senior officials of the Justice Ministry, IDB and Prisons Department attended the event.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe PC. Commissioner General of Prisons Thushara Upuldeniya and IDB Chairman Alahapperuma signed the agreement.