The government is digitalizing the management of the country’s prison system through whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to address prison congestion, the chief of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) said on Saturday.
In a news frum in Quezon City, BJMP Dir. Ruel Rivera said his agency has been working with the Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the judiciary to address the challenges in the Philippine penal system, especially jail overcrowding.
“Gumawa ho kami ng paraan sa pagtutulungan ho ng DOJ, ng Judiciary na mapaangat ho ito sa pamamagitan nga ho noong NIMS (National Inmate Monitoring System) na iyon. And ngayon ho, mayroon na kaming NJIS, iyong National Jail Inmate Monitoring System kung saan ito po ay nakaano na po ang bawat is – it is a whole-of-the-society approach, whole-of-the-government approach,” Rivera told the forum.
“So, unti-unti po, dahan-dahan po naming ginagawa iyon pero hindi ho kaya ng BJMP katulong din ho rito ang DICT sapagkat sila ho iyong may mandato para ho sa pagpapalawak ng technology about IT – so, kami ho nakikiano na rin ho kami doon and doon na pa po papunta ang sistema ho ng jail system sa Pilipinas,” he added.
The government has been carrying out the Inmate Management Information System, a nationwide comprehensive case monitoring and information system that tracks the progress of cases/clients from one agency to another.
With such system in place, it connects all of Parole and Probation Administration’s (PPA) regional offices, 224 field offices and the Central Office via a wide area network (WAN).
According to Rivera, the BJMP also designated paralegal officers in every jail whose job is to coordinate with the courts the cases of offenders to speed up the resolution of cases.
In the same news forum, Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Karl Miranda said there are three main reasons for jail congestion: lack of jail facilities, increase in arrests particularly drug-related cases, and increase in prison admissions.
Different government agencies, the Supreme Court (SC) and various stakeholders are spearheading the National Jail Decongestion Summit on December 6 and 7 to tackle challenges in the penal system and address jail congestion.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is expected to grace the event. Other attendees will be Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Speaker Martin Romualdez. PND