Draft Report on Community based Correction System in Sri Lanka to be made open for public suggestions

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Draft Report on Community based Correction System in Sri Lanka to be made open for public suggestions


Fri, Oct 8, 2021, 07:24 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Oct 08, Colombo: Addressing the 8th meeting of the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Justice, Minister of Justice M.U.M Ali Sabry, PC directed the “Draft – Report on Community based Correction System in Sri Lanka” to be circulated among all Parliamentarians, for their suggestions and observations for the purpose of it being further developed.

At the committee meeting held Thursday Minister Ali Sabry instructed to obtain public views regarding the report as the initial step towards the transformation of the Criminal Justice System in Sri Lanka.

Ms. Hanaa Singer-Hamdy, UN Resident Coordinator to Sri Lanka and Robert Juhkam, Resident Representative of UNDP were also in attendance at the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Justice chaired by Minister Sabry.

The Justice Minister was of the view that there is no point of sending people behind bars without reforming them and therefore, community-based correction system would be a more effective method. Accordingly, possibilities of correcting those who are sentenced for less than two years within the community without imprisoning them was taken into consideration.

The discussion on Community based correction was set in motion following the presentation by the Assistant Secretary General of Parliament and former Justice Official Tikiri K. Jayathilake. The Assistant Secretary General addressing the committee, stated that Criminal Law and the notion of justice are entwined and it is important to extricate an individual into society as a responsible citizen rather than labeling them as criminals.

Furthermore, he stated that the said objective could be done by the Ministerial Consultative Committee via two tiers. One being the political tier inclusive of the political leadership in stirring towards the requisite reforms. The second tier includes officials and professionals representing various fields contributing their expertise towards the creation and development of relevant reforms.

The Assistant Secretary General of Parliament also emphasized that suggestions of Members of Parliament and various stakeholder are imperative in order to develop this system.

Addressing the Committee, Ms. Hanaa Singer-Hamdy, UN Resident Coordinator to Sri Lanka commended the Ministry of Justice for its efforts in the transformation of the Criminal Justice System. Adding to it, she further stated that Community based correction could avoid exposing offenders to the conditions of the prison which could sometimes be violent and unsafe creating a cycle of coming in and going out of prison.

Members of Parliament Weerasumana Weerasinghe, G. G. Ponnambalam, Sagara Kariyawasam, Madhura Withanage, Diana Gamage, Gamini Waleboda, S. Kajendran, Ajith Rajapakse, Akila Ellawala marked their presence at the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Justice chaired by the Minister of Justice Ali Sabry.

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