Report on the visit of the Subcommittee on prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to the Maldives (CAT/OP/MDV/1)
220. The SPT notes the plans for these new facilities to ease the situation in Maafushi prison and allow the closing of the Malé Remand Centre. However, prison building alone will not constitute, and should not be seen, as the sole solution. A coherent strategy to reduce the number of people in prison should include a range of measures other than prison building: increased use of bail, reduction in pretrial periods, inclusion of time served on custodial remand in sentence calculation, increased use of non-custodial sentences, opportunities for remission/release on parole/other forms of release and programmes for re-integration of prisoners into the community and drug rehabilitation programmes so as to reduce the risk of re-offending, inter alia. Furthermore, the SPT is of the view that the legislation concerning sentence maximum requires reconsideration in the light of proportionality (for example up to 25 years or life sentence for minor drug offences) in order to reduce the pressure on the prison system of long sentences for minor drug offences and the resulting overcrowded conditions.