Senator Leila De Lima has proposed merging the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and provincial jail services to institute reforms in the country’s prison system.
De Lima renewed the call for the passage of Senate Bills 180 and 181 amid the controversy over the aborted release of convicts of heinous crimes due to the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) Law.
Senate hearings on the issue have resulted in the expose on corruption within the BuCor and New Bilibid Prison, the national penitentiary.
“We should initiate sweeping changes not only in BuCor but within the entire prison system to make it more effective in eradicating corruption and addressing the pressing problems in our country’s penitentiary,” De Lima said.
SB No. 181 seeks to integrate the management of the BuCor, BJMP and provincial jail services, under one agency to be called as the National Commission on Corrections and Jail Management (NCCJM).
The proposed NCCJM will be tasked to provide safeguarding of detainees, the custody and reformation of prisoners, and the professionalization of all correctional personnel.
SB No. 180, meanwhile, seeks to institutionalize prison reform and restorative justice in the country’s correctional system to ensure the effective rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates while according full respect of their rights.