KAJANG, Feb 9 — There is a need for halfway houses to be set up to accommodate paroled female prisoners and former female inmates who are looking for a job in order to help them reintegrate into society.
Prisons Department deputy director-general (Community) Datuk Ibrisam Abdul Rahman said that currently, the department has 15 halfway houses that were established for male prisoners only.
“The Prisons Department still needs halfway houses to be set up for prisoners who have no family or a place to live after being released or after undergoing parole and the Licensed Release of Prisoners Programme (PBSL).
“So, we hope that we can work with more non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to set up the halfway houses and provide peer support to this group,” he said when officiating the Youturn Day 2023 programme themed Welcoming Prisoners Back to Society organised by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) and Malaysian Care at the Kajang Prison Complex, here today.
A halfway house is a facility provided by the Prisons Department in collaboration with NGOs to accommodate parolees (ODPs) and ex-prisoners who have just been released after serving a prison sentence of up to three months.
Ibrisam said the existence of the facility would enable the department to achieve its target of two-thirds of prison inmates undergoing community rehabilitation by 2030.
“The Parole and PBSL programmes have helped 53,341 ODP and 9,602 inmates release on licence find jobs and reintegrate with society since 2008,” he said.
Meanwhile, Suhakam vice-chairman Prof Datuk Noor Aziah Mohd Awal said that the responsibility to set up halfway houses should not be placed on the shoulders of the government alone but required the participation of more NGOs in making the effort a success.