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Activists, experts caution against slapdash reform to tackle prison overcrowding

first_imgYasonna told lawmakers at last Thursday’s teleconference that he would formally request approval from President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to resume deliberations on the revised KUHP and Correctional Facilities Law that had been carried over from the previous legislative session.Widespread protests from thousands of students and activists had forced Jokowi to delay the deliberations in September 2019. The protests criticized the deliberations for commencing just weeks before the end of the previous legislative session, as well as articles that they said would roll back decades of political reform to the New Order era.The revised KUHP and Correctional Facilities Law would automatically void a 2012 Government Regulation on the rights of prisoners, which stipulates stringent criteria to determine the eligibility for sentence remissions and parole for inmates convicted of extraordinary crimes like corruption, drug crimes and terrorism.Yasonna told lawmakers this time that he intended to revise the 2012 regulation to facilitate the conditional release of around 300 graft convicts aged 60 and above, among others.Yasonna also aims to release 30,000 convicts of general crimes who have served at least two-thirds of their jail terms to prevent outbreaks in the country’s overcrowded prisons, as part of the law ministry’s COVID-19 prevention measure.Read also: Overcrowded and understaffed, prisons scramble to protect inmates from infectionFollowing immediate objections from antigraft activists who questioned the motive behind the inclusion of corruption convicts that represented only a tiny proportion of the prison population, Jokowi was quick to clarify on Monday that his administration had never considered corruption convicts under the scheme.According to the ministry’s February data, Indonesia has locked up 4,891 corruption convicts, far fewer than 91,308 convicts serving their sentences for drug trafficking and 46,794 convicts service time for drug abuse. Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly’s latest plan to revisit prison reform is not without controversy. The growing number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia has reignited the debate on reducing overcrowding at the country’s prisons, prompting lawmakers to consider overhauling the correctional system.The government has moved fast to rally the support of the House of Representatives, which agreed to resume deliberating the controversial revisions to the Criminal Code (KUHP) and the 1995 Correctional Facilities Law, which could pave the way to end prison overcrowding.The 524 prisons and detention centers across the country hold 268,919 inmates including some 60,000 detainees, more than double the maximum capacity of 132,107 inmates, according to the Law and Human Rights Ministry’s February 2020 data. It has also been reported that graft convicts enjoy arguably less cramped prison conditions compared to prisoners convicted of other crimes.Sukamiskin penitentiary in Bandung, West Java, for example, had 464 inmates in March, including 366 corruption convicts and five detainees, about 100 inmates fewer than its maximum capacity of 560 inmates.While the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) initially said that it was open to the idea, it now says it is against the plan to grant early releases to graft convicts.Anticorruption activists have said that reducing prison overcrowding is not as simple as granting early releases or remissions. Rigorous overhaul of Indonesia’s correctional system and codifications in the KUHP, the Criminal Law Procedures Code (KUHAP) and other related laws was pivotal to developing long-term solutions. They also said that any amendments or revisions, including to the KUHP, should consider additional alternatives to imprisonment.Activists also slammed the House’s apparent haste to resume deliberating the KUHP on the pretext of the COVID-19 outbreak. They said that doing so could only lead to excessive criminalization, given that the revised bill still included contentious provisions that would penalize activities in the personal domain, like consensual sex and cohabitation among unmarried people.“Depenalization and decriminalization should be promoted [in the amended KUHP] for of several criminal offenses, considering that overcrowding has been partly caused by overcriminalization in existing regulations,” said Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) researcher Genoveva Alicia.Over the last two decades of reform, Indonesia has been obsessed with criminalizing certain acts and putting those who have committed such as behind bars.From 1998 to 2015, at least 1,600 new crimes had been added to Indonesia’s criminal justice system, most of which carried cumulative punishments such as a prison term and a fine, said criminal law lecturer Miko Ginting of the Indonesia Jentera School of Law in Jakarta.The prison population has grown steadily over the years, from around 117,000 in 2010 to 163,000 in 2014 and to 256,000 in 2018, according to the World Prison Brief (WPB) online database, hosted by the Institute for Criminal Policy Research at the University of London.Rising incarceration (JP/Swi Handono)Indonesia’s incarceration rate is among the world’s lowest at 100 people per 100,000 population, but the country ranks 8th in highest prison population total among the 223 countries and territories in the world collated in the WPB database.Many blame Indonesia’s overcrowded prisons on the judicial system, the existing KUHP and the punitive attitude of the judiciary, prosecutors and law enforcement officers, particularly when it comes to drug crimes.Read also: Dian Sasmita: Listening to troubled juveniles on the road to healing“In the Narcotics Law, there are alternative [sentences] such as rehabilitation,” Jentera’s Miko said, referring to the different sentencing options available depending on the criminal charge. “But the imposition of these charges pale in comparison to those punishable by imprisonment.”“There is a tendency among the judiciary to hand down prison sentences despite the availability of alternative forms of punishment, such as [rehabilitation] for [drug crimes],” he noted.The 2009 Narcotics Law permits judges to sentence drug users and victims of drug abuse to rehabilitation rather than imprisonment, but judges often refrain from imposing the alternative sentencing scheme.  Meanwhile, activists say that police and prosecutors often mistakenly classify drug addicts as drug dealers or traffickers.In other indications of the country’s failed correctional system, Indonesia has seen numerous jailbreaks, cases of drug rings operated from behind bars, illegal excursions and lavish facilities granted to inmates, as well as radicalization in prisons.As part of the codification of criminal law, the ICJR’s Genoveva urged the government to issue implementing regulations to ensure that the judiciary and law enforcement applied non-penal approaches like probation for certain cases.”In a nutshell, we need total reform [that involves] careful and comprehensive calculations,” said Miko.Topics : The data also showed that the nation’s correctional facilities report an average occupancy of 104 percent.Chronic overcrowding in the national prison system, combined with poor management and a shortage of wardens, has led to frequent prison riots. The most notorious among these occurred in 2013 at Tanjung Gusta prison in Medan, North Sumatra, and in 2018 at the Kelapa Dua Mobile Brigade headquarters (Mako Brimob) detention center in Depok, West Java. The two deadly incidents prompted the government to reform the prison system, yet overcrowding has persisted.last_img read more


Couple plan for retirement and ready to sell family home

first_img14 Cayley Street, Everton Park, which is for sale.The couple moved to the Lockyer Valley three years ago for a ‘tree change’ and have decided to sell the home to consolidate their assets as they move into retirement.“We do miss the pool but also the easy access to everything as it’s only a two-minute walk to the bus stop and the shops,” Mrs Coogan said.More from newsFor under $10m you can buy a luxurious home with a two-lane bowling alley5 Apr 2017Military and railway history come together on bush block24 Apr 2019 The pool at 14 Cayley Street, Everton Park.Set in Everton Park’s premier Trouts Estate, this really is the ultimate family home. The spacious, two-storey house sits on a huge 624sq m block with a north-easterly aspect.Upstairs, there are three generous bedrooms with built-in wardrobes and polished hardwood floors. There’s also a fourth room that could serve as an office or guest bedroom.The large kitchen features beautiful Tasmanian oak.There are two bathrooms – one upstairs and one downstairs. The kitchen at 14 Cayley Street, Everton Park.Maree Coogan spent more than two decades watching her children grow up in this Everton Park home.Now, she hopes another young family will enjoy living here as much as hers did.Mrs Coogan and her husband Michael bought 14 Cayley St in 1992, attracted by the location and the lifestyle it provided for their two children.center_img The rumpus room at 14 Cayley Street, Everton Park.Downstairs, french doors open out on to the front yard and a huge rumpus room offers fun for all the family or the perfect kids retreat.“We made it more liveable downstairs,” Mrs Coogan said.“The kids lived and slept down there in the early years and as they grew older, we made it more of a getaway from the upstairs area.”The Coogans also built a large, covered deck so they could enjoy a meal with friends and family while watching the kids play in the in-ground, saltwater pool.last_img read more


Rookie Droste races to first Deery win at Quad City

first_imgEAST MOLINE, Ill. (July 22) – The top rookie contender in the Deery Brothers Summer Series became a first-time IMCA Late Model tour winner Wednesday night at Quad City Speedway.Tyler Droste led all 50 laps from the pole, beating Matt Ryan to the $3,000 checkers by the better part of a straightaway.“We’ve been close a few times. To finally get the win feels pretty good,” said Droste, at little more than 19 years of age the youngest driver to win a main event in the series’ 28-plus year history. “I knew that starting on the pole would give us a pretty good chance and we had a good car, but I didn’t know we’d be that good.”Brunson Behning, Jeff Aikey and point leader Justin Kay completed the top five.Kay, the defending tour champion, had started last in the field of 22 and steadily worked his way toward the front. Andy Nezworski, Kay’s closest competitor in the point standings, was sixth.Setting the tone for the night in winning his heat race, Droste drew the inside front row start for the feature and held onto the top spot through a succession of restarts, making the most of the fast top line.Ryan got to second with 19 laps remaining and closed on the leader, then fell back and never mounted a serious threat. Attrition took its toll on potential challengers as Scott Fitzpatrick, Ray Guss Jr. and Todd Malmstrom all exited from top five spots and did not return.“The win tonight is probably at the top of everything I’ve done this season,” saidf Droste, who also wheels an Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified. “It’s great to run with guys like Kay, Aikey, Ryan and Nezworski and be able to win.”Droste counted a pair of second-place showings among five top-five finishes coming into Wednes­day. His worst finish in nine main event starts has been ninth.Jeff Aikey, winner of the Deery feature at East Moline on May 3, pocketed the $250 Sunoco Race Fuels feature qualifier drawing.Night two of the midweek doubleheader is July 23, when the Deery Series headlines the Thurs­day Night Thunder program at Hamilton County Speedway in Webster City.Pit gates open at 4 p.m. and the grandstand opens at 5 p.m. Hot laps are at 6:30 p.m. with racing to follow.Feature results – 1. Tyler Droste, Waterloo, Iowa; 2. Matt Ryan, Davenport, Iowa; 3. Brunson Behning, Davenport; 4. Jeff Aikey, Cedar Falls, Iowa; 5. Justin Kay, Wheatland, Iowa; 6. Andy Nezworski, Buffalo, Iowa; 7. Joe Zrostlik, Long Grove, Iowa; 8. Thad Wilson, Rock Island; 9. John Emerson, Waterloo, Iowa; 10. Gary Webb, Blue Grass, Iowa; 11. Ryan Dolan, Lisbon, Iowa; 12. Darrel DeFrance, Marshalltown; 13. Scott Fitzpatrick, Wheatland, Iowa; 14. Ray Guss Jr., Milan; 15. Mike Zemo Jr., Davenport, Iowa; 16. Nate Beuseling, Silvis; 17. Todd Malmstrom, Silvis; 18. Jonathan Brauns, Muscatine, Iowa; 19. Jon Poll, Delmar, Iowa; 20. Jay Chenoweth, Wapello, Iowa; 21. Mike Garland, Morrison; 22. Shawn Mulvany, Moline.1st heat – 1. Droste; 2. Emerson; 3. Malmstrom; 4. Fitzpatrick; 5. Aikey; 6. Zemo; 7. Chenoweth; 8. Kay. 2nd heat – 1. Beuseling; 2. Nezworski; 3. Guss; 4. Behning; 5. Wilson; 6. Dolan; 7. Mulvany. 3rd heat – 1. Ryan; 2. Zrostlik; 3. Webb; 4. DeFrance; 5. Brauns; 6. Poll; 7. Garland.last_img read more


Museveni flags off Ugandan team

first_imgPresident Museveni flags of Uganda’s team to Rio. The team was introduced to her by Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni and Uganda Athletics Federation president Dominic Otuchet. PHOTOS PPUPHOTOGRAPHS: President Yoweri Museveni has today flagged off Uganda’s team to the Olympics. The President reiterated the values of sports and asked the team to observe discipline. The athletes at the function at State House comprised 14 athletes who fly out to Rio tomorrow. The first batch of boxers and swimmers is already in Rio while the marathoners, led by Stephen Kiprotich, are in high-altitude camp in Bukwo.  He handed the flag to Joshua Cheptegei and Winnie Nanyondo (Click to read Uganda’s SCHEDULE at games) Boxing – Fly Ronald Serugo vs Narek Abgaryan of ArmeniaSunday August 14 Day 9Women’s marathonMonday August 15 Day 10Men’s 3000m steeplechase round 1Women 3000m steeplecahse finalTuesday August 16 Day 11Women’s 5000m round 1Men’s 1500m round 1Wed August 17 Day Day 12Men’s 5000m round 1women’s 800m round 1Men’s steeplecahse finalThursday August 18 Day 13Men’s 1500m semifinalMen’s 800m semifinalFriday August 19 Day 14women’s 5000m finalSaturday August 20 Day 15Men’s 1500m finalWomen’s 800m finalMen’s 5000m finalSunday August 21 Day 16Men’s Marathon finalShare on: WhatsApp Uganda’s scheduleSunday August 7 (7pm)Boxing – L/heavy Kennedy Katende  vs Britain’s Joshua BuataziSunday August 7Swimming – Jamila Lunkuse 100m breaststroke (7.30pm)Thursday August 11Joshua Ekirikubinza Men’s 50 m freestyleFriday August 12 Day 7Women’s 10000m women finalSaturday August 13 Day 8Women’s 3000m Steeplechase round 110000m men finalAugust 13last_img read more


Atlanta United part ways with coach De Boer

first_imgAtlanta United FC has parted ways with Frank De Boer as manager,Atlanta United FC has parted ways with Frank De Boer as managerKampala, Uganda | XINHUA |  Major League Soccer (MLS) team Atlanta United announced on Friday that the club and head coach Frank de Boer have mutually agreed to part ways.The club will announce an interim coach shortly while beginning a search for the permanent replacement for de Boer.“On behalf of Atlanta United, I would like to thank Frank for his leadership and commitment to the club,” said Atlanta United president Darren Eales in a statement.“Under Frank’s guidance, the club had a strong 2019 season in both MLS and international competition. After discussing it with Frank, the decision was reached mutually to part ways. In winning two trophies in his first season in charge, he will always be a part of the club’s history, and with great appreciation and respect we wish him all the best in the future,” Eales added.Former Dutch international De Boer was announced as the club’s head coach in December 2018. Atlanta United finished the 2019 MLS season in second place in the Eastern Conference.But in the ongoing MLS is Back tournament, the team was knocked out of the round of 16 after losing all three matches in the group stage without scoring. “I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve had with Atlanta United,” De Boer said. “Coaching in Major League Soccer and living in Atlanta has been a wonderful experience and a welcome new challenge. I will never forget the incredible supporters here in Atlanta, they are truly special. I want to thank the players, coaches and staff for all of their support, it has been my pleasure to work with all of you.”The 2020 season was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic in March, and the league restarted in July with the MLS is Back tournament. MLS said the regular season will follow the MLS is Back tournament.****XINHUAShare on: WhatsApplast_img read more