Legislators say no to out-of-jail job assignments for prisoners

By Hoang Thuy   June 14, 2019 | 08:51 pm PT
Legislators say no to out-of-jail job assignments for prisoners
Prisoners wait for the start of a ceremony to announce their presidential amnesty at a prison in Hanoi on August 31, 2015. Photo AFP/Hoang Dinh Nam.
The National Assembly has voted against allowing enterprises to organize work for prisoners outside their prisons.

Revisions to the Law on Execution of Criminal Judgments were passed Friday morning. A proposed amendment suggesting collaboration between enterprises and prisons to organize external work for prisoners was not approved.

The NA Standing Committee said that the government has been consistent with allowing imprisoned individuals to work and study to become a useful person for society while serving their time, as stated in the Criminal Code.

The current law allows prisons to either cooperate with organizations and individuals to organize labor and vocational opportunities for prisoners or do so on their own. The areas where work and study take place must be organized by the prison and be under its jurisdiction. Allowing prisoners to work outside the prison was a new proposal.  

Prior to the rejection, Minister of Public Security To Lam said at the NA session on January 10 that the ministry had piloted the idea of authorizing 24 prisons to collaborate with companies to establish labor areas and vocational training programs.

The activities would take place at production facilities of the companies that had security fences and were secluded from residential areas. A pilot project showed that only one out of 7,000 prisoners involved escaped from the facilities.

There are currently 54 prisons run by the Ministry of Public Security. Most of them are located in less developed socio-economic areas, and traffic is not convenient.

Most prisons in the northern and central regions have limited and scattered land areas, making it difficult to develop production and vocational training for prisoners. The main option for inmates is agricultural work inside prison areas.

The revised Law on Execution of Criminal Judgments will take effect on January 1 next year.

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