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Bali's Jailhouse Blues

Despite Serious Overcrowding, There's Little Hope of Promised New Prison Facilities in Bali.

(8/26/2007) The Indonesian-language Bali Post reports that there's little hope in sight when it comes to relieving the severely over-crowded conditions at Bali's penitentiaries.

Long-standing attempts to build a new prison facility in Bali have been frustrated by the difficulties of finding a suitable location and the high cost of land. Added to these difficulties is the reluctance of local communities in Bali to have a prison complex built in close proximity to their homes.

Meanwhile, the central government in Jakarta have targeted for 10 new prisons to be built across Indonesia, with Bali's prison system with its high percentage of foreign inmates being given a high priority under the new-building plan.

Overcrowding at Kerobokan Acute

Quoted in the Bali Post, the Warden of the Kerobokan prison, Ilham Djaya, confirmed the severe overcrowding at his facility where the current 900 inmates exceeds its design capacity of 360 prisoners by 250%. Explained Ilham: "Almost every prison block is full. Although the condition is of great concern, there is little we can do. This is the reality we confront."

With little hope of a new prison facility being built in the near future, efforts are underway to improve sanitary conditions at the prison and segregate the handling of male, female and drug addicted prisoners.