BJMP backs Marcos' call for decongestion of jails - TrueID

BJMP backs Marcos' call for decongestion of jails

Philippine News AgencyJanuary 11, 2023

MANILA – The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) is fully supporting the call of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to release qualified persons deprived of liberty (PDL) to ease congestion in the country's correctional facilities.

"The BJMP is utilizing all legal means to decongest our jails, and we are grateful that President Marcos is supporting these efforts," said BJMP Chief, Jail Director Allan Iral, in a statement on Wednesday.

Citing the BJMP's 2022 accomplishment report, Iral said a total of 77,960 PDLs were released through paralegal services.

These include 12,795 PDLs who served sentences with time allowance; 21,398 PDLs without time allowance; 8,467 PDLs who posted bail; 6,044 PDLs who were acquitted; 141 PDLs who were granted parole; and 6,005 PDLs through probation.

An additional 25,333 PDLs were also released through other paralegal modes of release.

The BJMP is also ensuring compliance with the Supreme Court (SC) Office of the Court Administrator's (OCA) Circular 201-2022, which states that a PDL who has completed their sentence and has no other lawful reason for incarceration should be released immediately from the jail facility.

To further boost these efforts, Iral has ordered the BJMP's paralegal officers to increase their efforts and provide counseling 24/7 to PDLs to help them with their cases and other legal issues.

As of Wednesday, the BJMP has 126,820 PDLs in 478 facilities nationwide with a 367 percent congestion rate.

In October, the BJMP’s first jail-based drug rehabilitation facility, the Malaybalay City Jail Reformatory Center in Bukidnon province, started operations to provide specialized care to drug-affected inmates.

Data showed around 6,288 PDLs per month, or 10 percent of the average monthly jail population of 130,138 PDLs, are being released.

Iral said the BJMP is consistent in maintaining zero overstaying PDLs in all its 478 facilities nationwide.

On Tuesday, Marcos directed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to release more persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) who are qualified for parole to ease up congestion in the country’s correctional facilities.

Citing his experience as former governor of Ilocos Norte, Marcos said most of the PDLs are languishing in jail because they could not afford the services of good lawyers. (PNA)

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