Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry and Red Cross discuss new ‘early release from prison’ programmes

Ministry and Red Cross discuss new ‘early release from prison’ programmes

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A prison van transports inmates in Phnom Penh. Hean Rangsey

Ministry and Red Cross discuss new ‘early release from prison’ programmes

The Ministry of Justice is collaborating with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to address prison overcrowding and improve legal mechanisms for conditionally releasing inmates into the community.

The collaboration was announced at a meeting between ministry secretary of state Chin Malin and Dena Fisher, head of the ICRC mission to Cambodia, on February 1.

Malin told The Post that the ICRC had raised the issue of overcrowding in prisons and called for a solution to the problem. The two sides will work together to resolve the issue by laying out conditional release mechanisms to be implemented soon, as well as disseminating knowledge to the public.

“The ministry is preparing to put non-prison sentences – including community sentences and conditional release – into place. We will work with the IIRC to prepare these mechanisms to improve conditions in our prisons,” he said.

He added that raising public awareness of these new sentence conditions would be very important as people need to accept the new concepts.

“The traditional Cambodian point of view is that prisoners should be in prison. If they are out of prison, there could be problems. There may be violence or discrimination, and society may look down on these men and women.

“We are preparing to implement conditional release, and at the same time we are educating the public so that prisoners can be integrated back into society,” he said.

Malin added that although conditional release mechanisms had not yet been put in place, the ministry had worked hard to address prison overcrowding by clearing the backlog of court cases across the country.

“We have done a lot to address prison overcrowding by increasing resources at the courts to speed up proceedings,” he said.

Am Sam Ath, deputy director of rights group Licadho, said the collaboration would be a further step in helping implement and disseminate awareness of the programme. He urged that the process be begun as soon as possible and suggested that law enforcement officials ensure transparency in the release of prisoners to avoid public criticism.

“Once this mechanism is in place, we have to implement it in a transparent and fair manner before releasing prisoners conditionally,” he said.


  • Wing Bank opens new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004

    Wing Bank celebrates first anniversary as commercial bank with launch of brand-new branch. One year since officially launching with a commercial banking licence, Wing Bank on March 14 launched a new branch in front of Orkide The Royal along Street 2004. The launch was presided over by

  • Girl from Stung Meanchey dump now college grad living in Australia

    After finishing her foundational studies at Trinity College and earning a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Melbourne in 2022, Ron Sophy, a girl who once lived at the Stung Meanchey garbage dump and scavenged for things to sell, is now working at a private

  • Ministry using ChatGPT AI to ‘ease workload’; Khmer version planned

    The Digital Government Committee is planning to make a Khmer language version of popular artificial intelligence (AI) technology ChatGPT available to the public in the near future, following extensive testing. On March 9, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications revealed that it has been using the

  • Wat Phnom hornbills attract tourists, locals

    Thanks to the arrival of a friendly flock of great hornbills, Hour Rithy, a former aviculturist – or raiser of birds – in Kratie province turned Phnom Penh tuk tuk driver, has seen a partial return to his former profession. He has become something of a guide

  • Ministry orders all schools, public and private, to close for SEA Games

    From April 20 to May 18, all public and private educational institutions will be closed to maintain order and support Cambodia's hosting of the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games, said a directive from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. Cambodia will host the

  • Almost 9K tourists see equinox sunrise at Angkor Wat

    Nearly 9,000 visitors – including 2,226 international tourists – gathered at Angkor Wat on March 21 to view the spring equinox sunrise, according to a senior official of the Siem Reap provinical tourism department. Ngov Seng Kak, director of the department, said a total of 8,726 people visited Angkor Wat to