Jails in the Philippines are overpopulated by an unimaginable 511 per cent as the whole variety of inmates has ballooned to 126,946.
These prisoners are all held in amenities with an official capability of simply 20,746.
The figures have been revealed by the Commission on Audit (COA) right now (Friday, June 16), together with the startling proven fact that jail numbers had elevated by 30,544 in only one yr.
The COA’s annual audit report concluded: “As of December 31, 2016, the BJMP (Bureau of Jail Management and Penology) has a total jail population of 126,946 which exceeded the total ideal capacity of 20,746 having a variance of 106,200 or has a total average of 511 percent of congestion/overcrowding or clogging.”
This overcrowding not solely violates the BJMP’s personal “Manual on Habitat, Water, Sanitation and Kitchen in Jails” but additionally the United Nations’ “Minimum Standard Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners”.
Such overcrowding, the audit noticed, not solely prompted problems with well being and sanitation, but additionally led to elevated gang exercise.
“To sustain survival,” the report mentioned, “inmates hold on to gangs or ‘pangkat’ where they find protection, network of social support and most important, access to material benefits, which are scarce in highly congested facilities.”
The COA blamed overcrowding on the “increase in the number of drug-related cases in the country” in addition to a creaking justice system “due to lack of judges, postponement of hearings and the slow disposition of criminal cases that carry the penalty of reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment.”
The audit additionally mentioned that many detainees certified to post bail remained in jail as a result of poverty. “Some cases were bailable but detainees who are below poverty line cannot afford to post bail so they were stuck in the jails,” the report learn.
According to the report, jails in Central Luzon are the most crowded, having 12,490 inmates however with a complete holding capability of just one,178 — a 961 per cent congestion fee.
In distinction, jails in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) solely have a one per cent congestion fee, with 278 inmates and a holding capability of 275.
The report mentioned that there was a significant issue in setting up jails, with some constructed in small areas and different new amenities plagued by delays in development.
Two municipal jail buildings, one in Ilocos and one in Pangasinan, have been highlighted for being funded as early as 1996 however nonetheless incomplete. A jail in Alegria, Surigao del Norte, which started development 16 years in the past, additionally stays unfinished.
Also failing to satisfy goal completion dates are 4 jails in Western Visayas and jail buildings in the Zamboanga Pensinsula, value 12.four million pesos and 13.7 milliion respectively.
The report considerably clearly concludes that the authorities ought to construct more jails and develop present ones.