The Malaysian Prison Department was established with emphasis given to safety and security, rehabilitation, treatment, reintegration and probation and community correction. Transforming and modernising our current management system is an area it have ventured into since 2018.
As the world’s correction system is moving from retributive justice to restorative justice, Malaysian Prison Department has enhanced its community corrections and a tremendous result in rehabilitating the inmates and reduced reoffending has been proven.
In order to rehabilitate inmates and reduce reoffending, The Malaysian Prison Department implements an integrated Human Development Programme (HDP) focusing on developing inmates’ attitude, skills and knowledge. The HDP programme comprises four phases, which include disciplinary, personality development, skills training and pre-release programmes.
The Malaysian Skills Certification Programme is implemented through the National Dual Training System which is recognised by the Department of Skills Development under the Ministry of Human Resources. The Competency Skills Certification programme recognised by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) has also been implemented.
The Malaysian Prison Department is now recognised as a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) implementing agency as it undertakes the certification programme under the Malaysian Skills Certificate and the Certificate of Skills Competency. The skills certification programme is conducted in six sectors, namely textile, food & beverage, agriculture, livestock, services and also wood and metal fabrication.
Between the years 2012 and 2021, a total of 14,591 inmates have been successfully trained under the Malaysian Skills Certificate and Certificate of Skills Competency. With the skills obtained in prison, a number of prisoners have successfully established their own workshops in automotive maintenance, tailoring, spa therapy, weavers in the Royal Pahang Weave industry and as vehicle operators.
In the textile sector, Tenun Pahang Diraja (Royal Pahang Weave) is woven in the male-only prisons of Penor and Bentong, both of which are situated in the state of Pahang. It is an achievement by the Malaysian Prison Department to inculcate weaving skills and technical know-how to inmates from a zero-skill level to becoming expert weavers during their tenure in prisons. The Royal Pahang Weave has gained recognition on 13 November 2007 by then-Consort to the Crown Prince of Pahang Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah (now Her Majesty Queen Azizah of Malaysia). Her Majesty has since been appointed the Royal Patron for the Arts and Crafts of the Malaysian Prison Department.
Upon Her Majesty’s endorsement, the Malaysian Prison Department has been awarded a "Lifetime Achievement for Contribution to the Sustainable Development of Craft Sector and Social Inclusion" in the 5th International Craft Awards 2021 hosted by New Delhi-based Craft Village, a member of the World Crafts Council and an active social organisation in India working towards training and promotion of handicrafts.
Reintegration and social inclusion is a vital part in the rehabilitation process in reducing the occurrence of inmates from reoffending. The Malaysian Prison Department has introduced resettlement programmes by engaging with various agencies, industries and public. The Department is committed in developing inmate upskilling so as to instil confidence and boost their morale in order to earn an honest living and to become self-sufficient upon release from. This is proven by the decrease in recidivism rates from 15.64 percent in 2020 to 14.93 percent in 2021. Skills training in prison helps them build their self-esteem and respect in order to adjust to free society upon release. We believe that our rehabilitation programmes can help the inmates to repent and become productive citizens.