The Interior Ministry’s general department of prisons yesterday transferred 90 inmates from Kampong Chhnang provincial prison to Correctional Centre 4 in Pursat province due to overcrowding.
“Ninety prisoners including 10 women were transferred,” Pov Vuthy, director of Kampong Chhnang provincial prison, said.
Mr Vuthy added that all of those transferred were serving light sentences, while most had only six months to one year left behind bars.
Department of prisons spokesman Major General Sorn Keo said the decision was made because CC4 has more capacity than other prisons, including some new buildings that are nearly finished.
“There are currently more than 750 inmates detained in Kampong Chhnang provincial prison,” Maj Gen Keo said.
In prisons nationwide, there are more than 27,000 inmates.
“The number of prisoners will only increase, so we will solve the issue step by step, sometimes by adding extra space to current prisons,” Maj Gen Keo said.
He added that when CC4 is finished, it will be able to hold between 7,000 and 8,000 people. “Currently we just have 200 to 300 prisoners there,” he said.
Neither Chap Sort nor Hun Vutha, both deputy directors of CC4, could be reached for comment.
Civil society organisations have in the past raised serious concerns about prison overcrowding in the country, calling on the government to construct new prisons or find alternatives to detention.