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Myanmar: three prisons to double their inmate capacity

Myanmar is expanding its prison capacity in an effort to relieve chronic overcrowding pressures. New wings are set to double the size of three facilities, a prisons department official said.

Myanmar is expanding its prison capacity in an effort to relieve chronic overcrowding pressures. New wings are set to double the size of three facilities, a prisons department official said.

The expansion projects are scheduled for completion by the end of the current, 2016-17 financial year, and will add much-needed real estate, said U Min Tun Soe, deputy director of the Department of Prisons.

Mohnyin, Mawlamyine, and Daik-U correctional facilities are each beyond their current capacity of 1000 inmates, although U Min Tun Soe was unable to supply the exact number of inmates at currently held at each prison. The expansion projects underway will add to each facility a wing with an additional 1000-person capacity.

“The prisons that are dealing with over crowdedness will see newly constructed annex-expansions open by the end of this fiscal year. Once these annexes are completed, they [the inmates] won’t have to stay jam-packed,” said U Min Tun Soe.

“We also hope that there won’t be additional increase to the number of prisoners sent to these prisons because of the newly built annexes. It’s not a good thing to have a facility with too many prisoners [over capacity],” he added.

The expansion projects are currently around 90 percent complete, he said.

“We could construct the expansions only for these three prisons due to the budgetary restraints,” said U Min Tun Soe, “There are currently no plans to expand the other prisons.”

In addition to more space for their living quarters, inmates are expected to receive a boost to their mealtime allowance, from K625 per person, to K1000.

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