Correctional Services Bureau (DSC) Director Cheng Fong Meng told lawmakers on Tuesday that the city’s prison in Coloane is 82.81 per cent full, adding that his bureau was ready to change the facilities in the penitentiary to raise its capacity.
Cheng made the remarks when answering a question by lawmaker Wong Kit Cheng, on the last of a two-day Q&A session about the public security portfolio’s policy guidelines for next year.
Wong asked for an update on the construction of the new prison, as well as whether the current prison was full to capacity.
The current prison is located near Coloane village. The construction of the new jail, located near Ka Ho village, was started in 2010, and was initially set to be completed – in four phases – at the end of 2014.
However, the new prison project has lagged behind schedule, and the government still has no timetable for the date of its completion, according to Cheng.
Replying to Wong’s question, Cheng said that the current prison can accommodate up to 1,565 prisoners, adding that at the end of last month the number of inmates stood at 1,296 – an occupancy level of 82.81 per cent.
Cheng also said that if necessary his bureau would make modifications to the existing facilities in the prison, so that it would be able to increase the number of beds
Concerning the new prison project, Cheng said that the construction of the first phase was completed in February.
Cheng said that the construction of the second phase was started in March.
Cheng also said that for the construction of the third phase, the construction plan was being modified, after which the government would call for bids.
According to official sources, non-local prisoners, mostly mainlanders, account for about two thirds of the local prison population.