BANGKOK (TrustLaw) – Indonesia’s prisons, known for chronic corruption, overcrowding and poor facilities and services, are undergoing reforms to tackle issues ranging from the circulation of drugs to wealthy prisoners getting preferential treatment, the Asia Foundation wrote in an article.
Problems in Indonesia’s prisons include overcrowding, the system’s inability to attract the best and brightest civil servants and a lack of integration and effective coordination among agencies in the justice sector, the foundation said.
“The conditions for Indonesia’s 134,000 inmates may not have changed dramatically in the past three years, but a stronger foundation for better prison management is now in place,” the article said.
The foundation, together with the Director General for Corrections and civil society organisations, has developed a “Blueprint for Prison Reform,” as pressure mounts from state institutions such as the Corruption Eradication Commission as well as leading analysts like Noor Huda Ismail, who has said prison corruption has fuelled extremism in Indonesia.
“With police and prosecutors under pressure to meet annual arrest and prosecution targets, Indonesia’s prison system is now clogged with many inmates who have been sentenced for petty crimes like stealing a t-shirt or harvesting cacao from a neighbour’s land,” the foundation said.