LEGISLATIVE amendments are in the pipeline to bring prison rules into line with the Bill of Rights. Assistant Commissioner for Correctional Services, Pang Sung-yuen, said the move was intended to strike a balance between respecting the basic rights of prisoners while upholding custodial discipline. Article 6 of the Bill of Rights said all persons deprived of their liberty should be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person. The essential aim of the penitentiary system should be reformation and social rehabilitation. A key feature of the amendment would be to delete criminal offences from the existing list of ''Offences Against Prison Discipline'' in the Prison Rules. The present rules allowed officials of the Correctional Services Department (CSD) to punish inmates who commit criminal offences in jail. The list also specified assault and damage to Government property as offences that could be punished by CSD officials. Mr Pang said the changes would see inmates charged with criminal offences being handled by the police, as on the outside. Only matters strictly related to prison discipline would be handled internally. He said the move was to respect the inmates' right to a fair and open trial before court instead of behind closed doors. The amendments would also review the punishment imposed on prisoners violating discipline. The extent of forfeiture of remission and privileges would be reviewed. Under present rules, a CSD Superintendent could cut remission by up to two months and privileges for up to three months. Privileges included writing and receiving letters. Some changes have already been inplemented. Not all outward and inward letters are censored, even though Prison Rules stipulate that all mail could be censored. Mr Pang said it was up to the superintendent to decide which letters should be read. The Government abolished all judicial corporal punishment, like caning, in 1991 following reviews by the CSD which suggested rehabilitation could be achieved more successfully through other forms of penalty. Last year, new rules were introduced to refine the power of the department to put prisoners into solitary confinement and to prevent them being kept there for an indefinite period. But Mr Pang said the Bill of Rights stated clearly that prisoners could be restricted from enjoying their rights for the preservation of custodial discipline.