An audit report recently published by the Home Ministry of Maldives has deemed Maldivian prisons unworthy of incarcerating humans.
The report was compiled by a special committee organized by the Home Ministry to research prison standards in the Maldives. The comprehensive 390-page report was assembled after a thorough investigation of 11 detainment centres.
One of the main issues highlighted by the report is the poor architectural manifestation of current prisons. All prisoners are kept in the same quarter regardless of their crime classification. Criminals with major offences, minor offences and prisoners incarcerated pre-trial are congested in one place. According to the report, the infrastructure of the centres are also barely reform-oriented and have a punitive spatial configuration. To resolve the aforementioned issues, the report encourages new prisons to be built in conformance to the prison standards set by the “Mandela Rules” and urges to complete them within 3 years.
Additionally, the report correlates the lack of staff with the negligent management and maintenance of prisons. The report also advises placing security cameras such that the privacy of the prisoners is respected.
The report further stated that the National Integrity Commission (NIC) is careless in managing the prisons and that they were an impediment to the team’s investigation. Therefore, urged members of NIC to be summoned to the parliament to answer for their negligence.
Most of the issues highlighted by the report relate to prison policies, while a few relate to rules and regulations and administrative affairs.