Rate of recidivist well within the normal: minister

James Kon

The rate of recidivist in Brunei’s prisons from 2017 to 2020 is at 7.5-8 per cent, within the norm for recidivist at under 10 per cent, said Minister of Home Affairs Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong during the 17th Legislative Council session on Saturday.

The minister was responding to a query by Legislative Council member Yang Berhormat Pengiran Haji Ali bin Pengiran Maon who said recidivist refers to former inmates who repeatedly commit crimes and end up in prison again.

Yang Berhormat Pengiran Haji Ali also touched on the lack of manpower in the Prison Department .

The minister said, “Recidivist is measured over a period of three years. Therefore statistics for 2020 will start in 2017. From our findings, the rate of recidivist in our prisons is at 7.5-8 per cent which is under 10 per cent, signifying that it is within the norm. There are a number of countries that recorded more than 10 per cent in recidivist.”

As for the lack of manpower in the Prison Department, he said, “Alhamdulillah, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has recently consented to 50 additional staff for the agency. Hopefully, upon completion of their training, they will be able to carry out tasks as required.”

Meanwhile, LegCo member Yang Berhormat Hj Ramli Hj Lahit asked for the updates on the implementation of a parole system.

The minister responded that “it is still being assessed by relevant parties at the Ministry of Home Affairs along with other agencies on how to properly implement the system”.