Bangladesh is set to free nearly 1,000 long-serving prisoners to ease pressure on the country’s crammed jails, a home ministry official said Wednesday.
Bangladesh’s 67 prisons currently accommodate three times their capacity, with 77,000 prisoners in facilities designed for a maximum of 28,000 people.
“We have drawn up a list of nearly 1,000 well-behaved prisoners who have already served 20 years and will release them to ease overcrowding in our jails,” home ministry secretary Iqbal Khan Chowdhury said.
The home ministry will send the release order to the prison authorities Wednesday, Chowdhury said, adding that the list will include a number of female prisoners.
Prison overcrowding is particularly severe in women’s facilities. Dhaka’s central jail is currently holding 540 female prisoners, although the facility has capacity for only 134 people.