News TOP

News Detail

Reducing jail sentence of good-behaving prisoners to decongest jails

The implementation of Republic Act No. 10592, which amends some provisions of the Revised Penal Code, is helpful in decongesting jail facilities in the country, according to an official of the Parole and Probation Administration (PPA) which is an attached agency of the Department of Justice.

PPA Administrator Manuel G. Co, during the inter-agency forum on criminal justice system held in this resort island Thursday said the law entitles prisoners deduction from their jail term for good behaviors and loyalty, and other allowances.

“RA 10592 is one way of decongesting jails. It is one way of deducting some time, in the term imposed upon them or those who have been under detention,” Co said.

According to Co, there are more or less 200,000 prisoners in the country in different jail facilities in the country right now.

Meanwhile, Co said they are now creating a uniform manual that will be applicable to all institutionalized correctional facilities to “have a very accurate record system.”

“The reconciliation of the differences of manuals will benefit the prisoners,” he said.

He said the uniform manual will also enable them to create a “single carpeta system.”

The system which is a DOJ project will enable all correctional facilities, including the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP), and the Parole and Probation Administration (PPA) to be in one loop, Co explained.

“The system will allow us to have a single record to track prisoner’s detail,” added Co.

On the other hand, more than just decongesting jails, the law also allows PPA to help prisoner’s rehabilitation.

PPA-6 Regional Director Charito Zamora said the PPA helps prisoners “to gain their life back after their jail sentence.” “Our task is to assist and facilitate the rehabilitation of released prisoners and provide avenues for them to reintegrate back to the society,” she said.

In Western Visayas, Zamora said there is an average of 3,500 to 4,000 prisoners under the parole and probation program.

They are being supervised by the parole and probation officers in the 24 PPA field offices in the region, she said.

Under the probation program are those convicted offenders with a maximum of six years jail sentence while those in parole program are those convicted for over six years.

Meanwhile, the forum is in line with the celebration of the 41st year of the signing of Probation Law of 1976.

The inter-agency forum was attended by representatives from the five pillars of the criminal justice system - law enforcement, prosecution, courts, correction system, and community.

Karen V. Bermejo/PNA