Justice Minister: Special Prison for Unrepentant Drug Convicts
Jakarta. The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights plans to establish a special prison for hardened drug offenders in response to last month’s discovery that a drug kingpin on death row was still running his illicit business from behind bars in cahoots with prison officials.
“Officers from the National Police, the National Narcotics Agency [BNN] and the Ministry of Justice will guard the new prison,” Justice Minister Yasonna Laoly said at the BNN headquarters in Jakarta on Tuesday. “We don’t need to build a new prison; we will reform the security system.”
It is still unclear where this new kind of prison will be located or when it will be established. What is clear is that the prison will be equipped with signal jammers to block all incoming and outgoing cellular calls and text messages.
“The prison will also be geared with surveillance cameras, and access to the cells will require electronic finger printing,” Yasonna said, adding that the proposed facility will be provided with sniffing dogs and X-ray machines for visitors.
The minister also said the dedicated prison will host drug offenders and convicts caught to continue operations from behind bars. “All dealers and pushers will placed in this maximum-security prison,” he said.
Yasonna met with BNN officials on Tuesday to discuss the recent re-arrest of Freddy Budiman, a drug convict at the ostensibly high-security prison island of Nusakambangan, off the southern coast of Central Java.
The arrest stemmed from a March capture of one of Freddy’s alleged pushers, who told police he was still taking orders from the death-row inmate.
Freddy has since been transferred to another detention facility managed by the criminal investigation unit of the National Police. He is now under constant surveillance.
Two guards on the prison island have also been arrested for helping Freddy run his drug ring in exchange for promises of cash, cars and houses.
The minister admitted that drugs were still circulating freely in prisons across the country while the lack of proper monitoring had allowed convicts like Freddy to operate behind bars.
This is not the first time an inmate is caught operating from inside Indonesia’s penal system. The BNN in February raided the Cipinang Penitentiary in East Jakarta and discovered a new type of drugs called CC4, which officers said are ten times as powerful as ecstasy. The drug was traced back to Freddy’s drug ring.
The discovery of Freddy’s operations behind bars led Handoyo Sudrajat, the Justice Ministry’s director general of corrections, to tender his resignation. Handoyo said he had failed to “impose enough supervision and tough reforms” in prisons across the country.
Yasonna said that he had accepted Handoyo’s resignation and appointed one of his advisers, Ma’mun, as the temporary replacement. Ma’mun was sworn in at a handover ceremony at the ministry in South Jakarta on Tuesday, CNN Indonesia reported.
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Source: The Jakarta Globe