New location

By: Editorial June 06,2017 - 09:15 PM

Regardless of how the inquiry turns out, it is probably high time for the Cebu City government to relocate its Operation Second Chance facility away from the Cebu City Jail if only to stop the smuggling of contraband items from youth offenders to adult inmates.

The latest roundup and inspection showed no change at all with police confiscating shabu, cigarettes and even one pocket Wi-Fi as contraband from the inmates.

A lot of these items including the drugs were delivered undetected by the youth offenders who were paid God knows how by the inmates for services rendered, leading City Hall officials to believe the Operation Second Chance facility personnel are either turning a blind eye or are in cahoots with the two camps in exchange for a percentage of the profit.

The investigation may not show how much both detained youth offenders and Operation Second Chance personnel have benefited from this arrangement, but if the city government is serious about stopping this, it’s about time that the youth detention facility is transferred someplace else.

We’re not even talking about management which may include a representative of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) which specializes in handling wayward, errant youth.

It’s not difficult to guess that this arrangement between inmates and youth offenders had been going on ever since the facility had been set up, but we don’t doubt the sincerity of purpose in which Operation Second Chance was built on, which was to rehabilitate and lead the errant youth back to mainstream society and enable them to lead successful lives.

There have been a number of graduates from Operation Second Chance that have done just that, and the city can still help them if only they can lead these errant youths away from the corruptive influence of the adult inmates.

The smuggling of contraband items to and from Operation Second Chance to the Cebu City Jail also serves to justify the strip search being conducted by the regional Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-7) that is being questioned by rights advocates and local officials.

But regardless of whether or not it’s invasive and humiliating on the part of inmates, the fact is the strip searches won’t discourage them from continuing to smuggle in or employing others to smuggle drugs and other desired items to their cells if only to make their detention a lot more bearable.

We know there are officials in the administration that remain committed to rehabilitating the youth offenders, and perhaps with a little lobbying and some financial support and commitment from the private sector, Cebu City Hall can relocate the youth detention facility someplace where their “guests” cannot be corrupted by adult criminals and their road to rehabilitation would be a lot easier.

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TAGS: benefited, cahoots, chance, facility, inmates, location, new, operation

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