Korean prisons crowded 15 percent over capacity: lawmaker

By Yonhap
  • Published : Oct 12, 2018 - 19:50
  • Updated : Oct 12, 2018 - 19:50

Prisons across South Korea house an average 15 percent more inmates than their legal capacity, a lawmaker said Friday, citing a justice ministry report.

Rep. Chang Je-won of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party also said few measures have been taken to address overcrowding at correctional facilities, which the Constitutional Court in 2016 deemed unconstitutional.

The country‘s prisons are supposed to accommodate 47,000 people but 54,000 people were serving terms as of August,  Chang said.

Prisons in major cities are more overcrowded than those in other regions. Facilities in Incheon, west of Seoul, were operating at 134.6 percent of capacity, the highest across the country. That was followed by Seoul with 130.9 percent and the southeastern coastal city of Busan with 130.4 percent.

In 2016, the Constitutional Court said the accommodation of inmates in a crowded space infringes on their dignity and value as human beings and violates the Constitution.

The court also recommended that prisons offer a minimum 2.58 square meters of space per prisoner. (Yonhap)