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LCQ16: Inmates

     Following is a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, to a question by the Hon Leung Kwok-hung in the Legislative Council today (December 16):


     I have received complaints from inmates and discharged inmates that currently the facilities in the cells of the various penal institutions under the Correctional Services Department are not adequate, and their basic needs have been neglected. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of cells which are not fitted with individual toilets at present, broken down by institution, and the capacity of such cells; whether individual toilets will be fitted in every cell; if so, of the implementation timetable; if not, the reasons for that, and whether it has assessed if the lack of individual toilet in cells is a neglect of the needs of inmates; if such an assessment has been made, of the results; if not, the reasons for that;

(b) of the respective numbers of confirmed cases of inmates suffering from heart disease, asthma and pulmonary disease in each of the past five years;

(c) whether the various penal institutions have set up no-smoking cells at present for holding inmates who are chronic disease patients suffering from heart disease, asthma or pulmonary disease; if so, of the number of such cells and the capacity of each cell, and the numbers of inmates who were punished for smoking in no-smoking cells in each of the past five years; if such cells have not been set up, the reasons for that; and

(d) of the numbers of inmates who received injections of sedatives (commonly known as "doping injections") in each of the past five years?



(a) Generally, all cells operated by the Correctional Services Department (CSD) are fitted with individual toilets. To fulfil this basic requirement, preparation is being made to install individual toilets in ten single cells in Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre. Meanwhile, there are a total of 24 single cells in various institutions which are not fitted with individual toilets for special security reasons. These include eight cells for isolating persons suspected of concealing drugs in their bodies, and 16 protected rooms for the temporary accommodation of persons with self-harm behaviour or emotional instability. Generally speaking, while dropping pans are provided for inmates accommodated in the eight isolation cells, inmates staying in the protected rooms can notify CSD staff when they need to use the toilets, and arrangement will be made for them to use the toilets outside the protected rooms.

     The 24 single cells not fitted with individual toilets due to security reasons are listed below:

Name of            Number of         Number of
institution        isolation cells   protected rooms
-----------        ---------------   ---------------
Castle Peak Bay           -                 2
Immigration Centre

Chi Sun                   1                 -

Lai Chi Kok               -                 1

Pak Sha Wan               -                 1

Pik Uk                    -                 1

Stanley Prison            -                 2

Siu Lam                   5                 6

Shek Pik                  -                 2

Tai Lam                   2                 1
Centre for Women
----------------         ---                ---
Total:                    8                 16

(b) According to CSD's statistics, the number of inmates admitted to correctional institution hospitals due to heart diseases, asthma and pulmonary diseases from 2004 to 2008 is as follows:

Year     Heart       Asthma    Pulmonary
         diseases              diseases
         (Note 1)              (Note 2)
----     --------    ------    ---------
2008       167         326        151
2007        75         200        222
2006       111         246        176
2005       167         288        164
2004       315         167        121

Note 1: Heart diseases include "chronic rheumatic heart diseases", "hypertensive heart diseases", "hypertensive heart and renal diseases", "acute myocardial infarctions", "other ischaemic heart diseases", "conduction disorders and cardiac arrhythmias", "heart failure" and "other heart diseases".

Note 2: Pulmonary diseases include "respiratory tuberculosis", "malignant neoplasm of trachea, bronchus and lung", "bronchitis, emphysema and other chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases" and "pneumoconiosis".

(c) All indoor areas of correctional institutions are no-smoking areas, except the designated smoking areas such as single cells and designated smoking booths inside dormitories, dining rooms and workshops.

     The number of inmates punished by CSD for smoking in no-smoking areas in the past five years is as follows:

Year     Number of inmates punished by the
         CSD for smoking in no-smoking areas
----     -----------------------------------
2008                      63
2007                      70
2006                      14
2005                      18
(Feb 1, 2005 -
Dec 31, 2005)
(Note 3)

Note 3: CSD started to keep the relevant statistics in February 2005.

(d) CSD will only give sedative injections to inmates as and when Medical Officers prescribe such treatment according to the inmates' health conditions. In the past five years, the number of inmates who were prescribed with sedative injections by Medical Officers posted to penal institutions by the Department of Health is as follows:

Year     Number of inmates prescribed with
         sedative injections by Medical Officers
----     ---------------------------------------
2008                       295
2007                       288
2006                       228
2005                       265
2004                       193

Ends/Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Issued at HKT 14:38


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