Indonesia builds first 'open prison' for inmates in Java

Indonesia builds first 'open prison' for inmates in Java
REUTERS file photo.

Indonesia builds first 'open prison' for inmates in Java

BANTEN (Indonesia) — The Indonesian government is planning to build an open prison on a 30-hectare plot of land in Banten — a three hour car ride from the capital Jakarta — that will be home to thousands of inmates close to being released, a ministry official said on Wednesday (Oct 11).

An open prison on such a scale would be a first in the country and the development of the "open camp" in Ciangir village in Tangerang is expected to conclude in two years.

The open prison will be able to serve up to 5,000 inmates entering their last months of incarceration.

Inmates will have to undergo assessments before being moved to the new location and those declared as "low-risk" would be eligible for the move, Justice and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly said.

"We don't want to discriminate them. Anyone can move here," Mr Yasonna told reporters during the prison's groundbreaking ceremony.

Housing complexes for inmates as well as prison officers, houses of worship, assembly halls, sports rooms and parks are planned to be built on the prison grounds. Inmates will also be provided with craft centers.

"Our aim is to change our own paradigm towards people behind bars," Mr Yasonna said.

The ministry's acting director general for penitentiaries, Mr Ma'mun, added that at least 500 officers will guard the "minimum-security" prison and the assessments of inmates should help prevent security threats.

"If those who will be released in just a few months' time decide to flee, they will suffer themselves," Mr Yasonna said.

Countries such as the United Kingdom and Germany also have open prisons for soon-to-be-released inmates. JAKARTA GLOBE