Myanmar prison food to improve in 2018

UN Speacial Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee visits Thayawady Prison in 2015. Photo: MOI

Inmates in Myanmar’s prisons can look forward to a better-fed new year, as the Correctional Department plans to nearly double their daily meal allowance starting from January 1.

The current daily allowance for a regular prisoner is K600 (US$0.44) and K625 for a prisoner in a labor camp. The Correctional Department has agreed in principle to increase the daily meal allowance of the former to K975 and the latter to K1,000.

“With the increased budget, we can feed meat to prisoners four times in a week. Currently, the prisoners are given meat in their meals just two times a week,” said Min Tun Soe, deputy director of the Correctional Department. “We can also [from January 1] include beans in meals on a daily basis. Before, prisoners were fed beans just five times a week.”

There are 46 prisons and 60 labor camps across the country. Three new prisons have been built and one of them has already opened.

“Mohnyin Prison [in Kachin State] has started accepting prisoners. By the end of this year, a prison in Kyaikmaraw [Township, Mon State], and another in Daik-U [Township, Bago Region], will be opened,” Min Tun Soe added.

“All of the three new prisons are A-rated prisons, meaning they can accommodate up to 1,000 convicts. The new prisons were not opened because of an increase in the number of convicts. They were built and opened in those areas that are far from any of the existing prisons.”

There are about 90,000 inmates across Myanmar.

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