New Move to Prevent Overcrowding of Prisons: Sri Lankan Government Considers House Arrest for Civil Offenders

February 04, 2024

In a move aimed at addressing the issue of overcrowding in Sri Lanka's prisons, State Minister of Justice and Prison Affairs, Anuradha Jayaratne, has announced plans to introduce house arrest as a sentencing option for those found guilty of civil offenses.

The State Minister disclosed that efforts are underway to draft legislation to enable the implementation of house arrest as an alternative punishment for civil offenders. The Legal Draftsman’s Department has been tasked with formulating the necessary laws, with plans for the draft to be presented in Parliament later this year.

Highlighting the need for legislative amendments to support this initiative, State Minister Jayaratne emphasized that several Acts, including the Bail Act, would require revisions to accommodate the introduction of house arrest as a sentencing option.

The move comes as part of broader efforts to alleviate the strain on Sri Lanka's prison system, which has been grappling with severe overcrowding issues for some time.