The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) on Saturday said they are working with other government agencies to help inmates or persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) in their transformation by providing them skills they could use after they are released and to prevent them from becoming recidivists.
Speaking during a news forum in Quezon City, BJMP Dir. Ruel Rivera said his agency signed last month a tie up with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for a program that will provide PDLs with employable skills.
“So mayroon ho kaming mga programa diyan para ho itong ating mga nakapiit ay bigyan natin ng employable skills – habang nandoon ho sila ay tinuturuan sila [to become] an electrician or sa mga handicraft making – iyon na ho, doon na ho kami pumupunta,” Rivera told the forum.
“By next week ho ay magkakaroon naman kami ng pirmahan with the DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) na paglabas ho nila sa komunidad sila ay mabigyan ng trabaho,” he said.
He said the BJMP is also implementing classification strategy, in which PDLs are classified to match the appropriate programs suited for them. This is to provide the PDL with necessary skills and education that could help them once they reintegrate with society.
Highlighting the effectiveness of the classification program, the BJMP facilitated the graduation last month of 220 high school and senior high school students in the Manila City Jail, Rivera said, adding similar programs are also being implemented in other parts of the country.
“Mayroon na ho kaming napa-graduate na pitong kolehiyo tawag ho namin diyan ‘college behind bars’ at pinaiigting pa ho namin. Ngayon ho mayroon na ho kaming pakikipag-ugnayan at pito na hong kolehiyo sa buong Pilipinas ang nagbibigay ho ng libreng pag-aaral sa kolehiyo doon ho sa mga nakapiit,” he said.
“So, iyon, doon ho kami tumututok ngayon kasi nakakaano ho kumbaga ang BJMP ho ay naiisip namin ‘Bakit ganito kataas ang reoffending?’ Baka kailangan ng programa na habang sila ay nakapiit ay bigyan sila doon na programa,” he added.
Among these programs include handicraft making, pot making, painting and other skills that could aid PDLs transform themselves and become law-abiding citizens, he added.
This is to show to the public that the government has programs for PDLs to provide them with skills during their incarceration and they have the knowhow to earn a living and help their families once they are freed.
“Habang nasa loob ay tinuturuan natin at sila ho ngayong magpapa-Pasko kailangan ho nila ng pera, kailangan ho nilang kumita at iyon ho ay ibinibigay ho namin sa kanila ang 100 percent, wala ho kaming kinukuha doon ang BJMP,” the jail official said.
“So, ibig sabihin masusuportahan na nila ang pamilya doon at kung lumaya sila ay marunong silang magpintura, marunong silang gumawa ng paso, marunong sila ng iba’ ibang at least mababawasan ho iyon mag-ano, babait na po sila,” he said.
There is high reoffending rate in the country, from 28 to 30 percent, based on BJMP’s record, said Rivera, stressing the reason why the agency is focusing on implementing programs that help PDLs for their transformation. PND