Interior Minister Wants Special Jail for Drug Offenders

Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Wednesday called for the construction of a prison specifically to house drug offenders in an effort to prevent the use of illicit substances from spreading among inmates.

Speaking on Wednesday at a meeting on enforcing the law in human trafficking cases, Mr. Kheng told government officials and police that drug offenders and addicts should not serve prison terms with non-addicts.

“If we do not move addict prisoners who are staying with non-addict prisoners, they will all become addicts together,” he said, adding that state land was available to accommodate a new prison.

His proposal comes after the government announced plans to ramp up efforts against drug trafficking and boost rehabilitation of users in response to a 30 percent increase in identified drug addicts last year.

The strategy, which includes the promotion of anti-drug messages, requires officials to identify addicts needing treatment.

Earlier this year, Mr. Kheng announced plans for a new, privately built prison that would allow inmates to rent upgraded cells and other perks.

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