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Jails heavily congested in Philippines with high occupancy rates


MANILA- Report on Thursday about the jails across the Philippines says the prisons are heavily congested.

A recent government report noted that around 67 per cent of the country’s prison facilities were overcrowded, with the highest occupancy rate reaching 2,739 per cent.

The report, released on Wednesday by Philippines’ Commission on Audit, showed that a total of 127,031 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) were in 478 jail facilities in the country as of last December.

This has exceeded the total ideal capacity of 46,702.

“Out of the 478 jails, 323 facilities are heavily congested with occupancy rates ranging from 101 to 2,739 percent,’’ the report said.

“The land where some jail buildings were constructed has limited space.

“Hence, construction and expansion of existing jails were not made possible,’’ the report added.

The report attributed the over occupancy rate of prisons to increasing number of prisoners, the decision on pending cases, and the postponement of hearings, among others.

Out of the PDLs detained in jails, a total of 113,686 PDLs, or 89 per cent, are either awaiting or undergoing trial or final judgment, the report noted.

Another factor for the high jail occupancy rate was that of some poor detainees qualified for provisional liberty but remained imprisoned because they cannot afford to post bail, it added. (Xinhua/NAN)

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