House Human Rights Committee members on Monday expressed concern over the prevailing overcrowding conditions at the Central Prison.
The number of inmates today far exceeds its capacity, the MPs heard. In fact, there are about 200 inmates over and above the Central Prison’s capacity.
Specifically, there are 762 inmates even though the total capacity of the Central Prison is only up to 540.
Ruling Disy MP Mariella Aristidou said overcrowding sparks serious problems both for the management as well as for wardens and other staff.
At the same time, the cost is extremely high and falls on the shoulders of the taxpayer, she also said.
“The management has put forward some proposals that can defuse some of the pressure and we consider these as very sensible and something that should be seriously considered,” Aristidou said.
“For example, it is not wise to put to prison people who cannot pay a fine of €200 or €500 or even €1,000 euros. Other arrangements could be made, there are alternative prison sentences,” she added.