The Jakarta Post
House of Representatives' Commission III on law and human rights wants prison security strengthened in the wake of reports that some prisoners at Sukamiskin Penitentiary in Bandung, West Java, were allowed special privileges, including passes for outside medical checkups.
Mulfachri Harahap of Commission III overseeing legal affairs said on Monday that weaknesses in prison security protocol triggers problems in the prison system. He referred to the recent media reports that inmates from Sukamiskin prison had been seen in public.
“If the medical facilities in the prison are not good enough to treat certain illnesses, the prison staff should issue permits for outside medical treatment. The problem is that those permits are being misused,” he said. Prisoners are allowed to visit their doctors on their own recognizance.
On Monday, Tempo published a report on the misuse of medical appointment permits issued by Sukamiskin Penitentiary. Among the inmates issued such permits, Romi Herton, Anggoro Widjojo and Rachmat Yasin, all of whom were convicted of corruption, exploited them to not only meet their relatives but to go shopping as well.
Chairman of Commission III, Bambang Soesatyo of the Golkar Party, said that violation of regulations in Indonesia’s prison system had become a common practice. He added that the solution to this problem would be better enforcement of the security protocol by prison staff, in particular the guards.
"There should be stricter actions taken to fix the existing rules in that prison, and the General Director of the prison should pay more attention to this problem,” Bambang said.
Mulfachri cited the low salaries of prison guards, which makes them vulnerable to bribery by inmates, as the main reason for the irregularities.
The Indonesian media has widely reported irregularities in prison protocol, including violations of medical permits, cell privileges and the smuggling of narcotics. The highest profile case thus far has been that of Gayus Tambunan, a tax official imprisoned for embezzlement, who was spotted watching a tennis tournament on Bali in November 2010. (rdi/wit)
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