Duterte urged to prioritize prison reform

Duterte urged to prioritize prison reform
The New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City

MANILA— The prison ministry of Catholic bishops called on the Duterte administration to make corrections reform among its top legislative priorities to keep offenders on right track.

Mr. Rodolfo Diamante, executive secretary of the Commission on Prison Pastoral Care, said the focus should not only be about care and control of people inside prisons but also reintegrating them back into society after their release.

He said reforms in the “corrections pillar” is a must to ensure that when a person leaves they don’t return, reiterating the church’s call for “a justice that heals rather than one which demands the dignity of the human person”.

“We urged the government to explore alternative ways of dispensing justice other than incarceration and cruel degrading and inhuman punishment,” Diamante said.

The prison ministry official made the appeal Monday as the Church marks the 30th Prison Awareness Week from Oct. 23 to 29.

Through the celebration, the Church stressed that it is through God’s love and people’s care and concern that criminal offenders are rehabilitated and given another chance to become productive members of society.

The commission earlier lauded President Rodrigo Duterte as he plans to install television sets in prison cells for inmates at Bicutan jail inside Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

The President was at the prison facility last October 18 for an inspection.

“The commission prays that he will make true his promise that he will personally look into the situation of the prisoners and mobilize the proper government agencies to assist them,” Diamante said.

Diamante also reiterated their appeal to the President to release aging and sick prisoners at the national penitentiaries and those who have served 20 years in prison. CBCPNews