New B Meanchey Prison Chief Pledges Inmate Rehabilitation

The Interior Ministry’s General De­­­partment of Prisons on Mon­day ap­­­pointed Thean Chhorvoan as the new Banteay Meanchey pro­vincial pri­son chief more than five months aft­er his predecessor was charged with accepting bribes in return for allowing an in­mate to escape.

Disgraced former provincial pri­­son chief Nuon Vanna is currently de­­­tained in Siem Reap Pro­vincial Pri­­­­son waiting to be tried for brib­e­ry charg­es brought against him in De­cember.

Mr Chhorvoan, former deputy pro­vincial prison chief, was ap­point­ed during a ceremony at a pro­vin­cial government building to lead one of the most overcrowded prisons in the country, said GDP general-di­rector Kuy Bun­sorn.

“We also disseminated information about anti-corruption laws to the pri­son chief and guards so they understand about prosecution and will not repeat the same mis­takes,” Mr Bunsorn said.

Mr Chhorvoan was instructed to grant adequate exercise time to more than 1,100 inmates in the pri­son, which operates at about double its official capacity, he add­ed. He said by phone yes­­­terday that he would transform the prison from solely a place of de­tention into an institution that also pro­vides agricultural training and rehabilitation.

“In particular, I will help educate pris­on guards and other pri­son officials to behave properly and gently to­­ward prisoners,” he said, noting that he recently put three boxes in pri­­son cells so that com­­plaints could be submitted and resolved. “In­­mates being held here will have the free­dom to speak out about their needs.”

Two of 86 prison guards and officials currently work­­ing at the prison will attend a three-month intensive training course start­ing later this month at Phnom Penh’s Police Aca­demy of Cambo­dia, he added.

Mr Bunsorn said that last month, 50 prison guards nationwide completed the first three-month training course of its kind in Cambodia. Se­nior police and lec­turers at the Po­lice Academy of Cambodia taught guards about the UN’s minimum rules for treatment of prisoners, a code of eth­ics and martial arts, he said. Fifty more guards will attend the course that begins June 21, he added.

 

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