Sarawak grants first home detention for pregnant female prisoner

Nini (left) and her sister signing the home detention document before Teyun (centre).

SIBU, April 26: In a landmark decision, a 31-year-old female prisoner has become the first in Sarawak to be granted Licensed Release of Prisoners (PBSL) for home detention, marking a significant step in penal reform.

Sarawak Prisons Department director Teyun Thian Eim announced that the initiative, aimed at individuals with chronic diseases, the elderly, persons with disabilities, and expectant mothers, seeks to address specific needs of vulnerable inmates.

“The initiative applies to prisoners serving sentences of four years or less for minor offenses, senior citizens above 70-years-old, and pregnant women who are at least 28 weeks into their pregnancy,” he stated during a press conference today.


Under the PBSL, inmates granted home detention must adhere strictly to conditions, including refraining from committing further offenses and remaining at their designated residences unless for medical treatment.

“For those who breach the conditions, their home detention will be revoked, and they will be required to serve the remainder of their sentence in prison. Additionally, they may face legal consequences, including imprisonment or fines,” Teyun explained.

The first beneficiary of this programme, referred to as Nini to protect her identity, expressed gratitude towards the prison authorities for granting her the opportunity to serve the remaining four months of her sentence at home.

“I am overjoyed and thankful to the prison authorities for allowing me to complete the remaining duration of my sentence at home. This enables me to resume a semblance of normalcy in my life,” she said emotionally during an interview.

Nini, who is 28 weeks pregnant, assured her commitment to abide by the terms of her home detention and pledged to avoid repeating past mistakes.

She plans to devote her time to caring for her two children, aged two and three.

Her sister acted as a guarantor for her release under the home detention programme.

The implementation of PBSL through home detention aligns with the government’s efforts to alleviate prison overcrowding, as announced by Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail on May 4. — DayakDaily