Inmates in Burma’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 1 January.
The current daily allowance for a regular prisoner is 600 kyats ($0.44) and 625 kyats for a prisoner in a labour camp. The Correctional Department has agreed in principle to increase the daily meal allowance of the former to 975 kyats and the latter to 1,000 kyats.
“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 1 January] include beans in meals on a daily basis. Before, prisoners were fed beans just five times a week.”
There are 46 prisons and 60 labour 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 Burma.