Most of the opinions agreed with the supplement to the law that allows prisoners to work for businesses, organizations and individuals in a restricted zone under strict supervision of superintendents outside the prison. Against this supplement, some deputies expressed their concerns that the permission could lead to other issues, saying that this loosens the severity of the judgment, causes worries and anxieties to people living in the working zone of prisoners, and risks escapes of prisoners.
Answering these questions, the NA Standing Committee stated that inmates are forced by laws to work and study in prison, and that this is the way to re-educate them. The detention of a large numbers of prisoners in a long period of time without working may generate many complex issues, particularly security and safety issues, in prisons. Therefore, creating opportunity for prisoners to work agrees with the policy of re-education and re-integration of offenders, helps them train professions and improve their incomes and lives.
Speaking at the meeting, Minister To Lam emphasized that the results of a survey show all prisons and local authorities have agreed on the supplement to the law. He also explained that the working zone for prisoners will be designed on the prison pattern and within the management capacity of the prison rather than inside a residential area. What is more, the prison’s security rules will be applied to the working zone, and prisoners to work in the working zone must meet a number of requirements. Deputy of Bac Kan province Nguyen Thi Thuy highly valued the humane and educational sense of the amended law, saying that this helps them to soon reintegrate into society and become a good citizen when they are released. She also underlined that the objective of this legal provision is to train a profession for prisoners, besides economic benefits. Many countries in the world, including the UK and Switzerland, also allow prisoners to work outside of the prison. Some countries consider this a measure to help prisoners re-integrate into society as well as a duty of prisons.
On behalf of the drafting board, Minister To Lam thanked the NA deputies for their opinions and ideas, and promised to consider adding them to the law.