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Jakarta Post

Indonesia needs to double number of prison officers

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, June 7, 2016   /  09:06 am
Indonesia needs to double number of prison officers Police officers stand guard outside Gorontalo prison on June 1 following a prison riot that broke out on Tuesday evening. (Thejakartapost.com/Syamsul Huda M.Suhari)

The government needs to double its number of prison officers to accommodate ever-increasing numbers of inmates, an official has said.

The current shortage of officers has created a situation that is not ideal in terms of the ratio between guards and prisoners, said Law and Human Rights Ministry correctional directorate general I Wayan Dusak.

The country has 15,000 prison personnel at present. Dusak said the number of inmates increased by approximately 1,000 each month.

Security becomes compromised if an officer must supervise dozens of inmates, he added.

"Ideally, there should be one guard to 20 inmates. But that's become impossible to fulfill. I will try to qualify more guards," Dusak said on Monday as quoted by kompas.com.

Indonesia needs to double its number of guards because the number of inmates has reached approximately 180,000 and continues to grow, he added.

One of the ways to reduce the number of prisoners is to grant remissions, but that process is still hampered by contradicting regulations, he said.

On one hand, Law No. 12/1995 on correctional centers outlines the possibility of remission for all convicts, but Government Regulation (PP) No. 99/2012 on procedures and requirements to fulfill inmates’ rights says otherwise.

According to the government regulation, remission may not be allowed for those convicted of crimes related to terrorism, narcotics and precursor narcotics, psychotropic drugs, corruption and national security, as well as heavy human rights violations and other organized transnational crimes. The regulation stipulates that a remission can only be granted once a convict has fulfilled a number of criteria.

Dusak said the PP stood in contradiction of the law, which allowed remission without exceptions. A PP should refer to the main law, he added.

Previously, Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly expressed his desire to revise PP No. 99/2012 to minimize riots in prisons due to overcrowding. (liz/bbn)  

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