More security measures set up for juvenile detention facility
OPERATION SECOND CHANCE
FOLLOWING Monday’s riot inside Operation Second Chance Center (OSCC), a detention facility in Cebu City intended for juvenile delinquents, fish nets and steel matting will be installed to prevent young detainees from communicating with adult inmates at the adjacent Cebu City Jail in Barangay Kalunasan.
“We found out that the problem inside Operation Second Chance is the communication. We have to prevent them from doing hand signaling with the inmates at the Cebu City Jail who would give instructions to the minor offenders,” said Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak, deputy mayor on police matters.
Tumulak said that the fish nets will be put up on the perimeter fence separating the two facilities to blur any form of hand signal between the young residents of OSCC and adult prisoners of the nearby jail.
The steel mats will be installed over the windows of the OSCC rooms so that the young offenders could no longer stretch out their arms and hands through windows to give out signals to the neighboring Cebu City Jail.
The added security measures will be implemented today, Wednesday.
Tumulak presented to reporters a video taken from OSCC showing minor offenders with their hands and arms flung out of their room windows to do special hand signals apparently intended for inmates at the nearby city jail.
Prior to the discovery, the hand signals appeared to be a perfect mode of communication between the jail prisoners and the minor detainees as they cannot be understood by many.
Tumulak said that officials had long suspected that juvenile delinquents were being used by adult prisoners as couriers to smuggle contraband items like cigarettes and shabu into the city jail.
Officials suspect the OSCC riot which broke out at past 9 a.m. last Monday may have even been staged to distract jailguards while an illegal transaction between inmates of the two facilities may have been done.
“Basin g’yud naa silay transactions adto nga adlaw kay naa man say niingon nga naa silay nakit-an nga duha ka taw sa gawas adto nga time (They could really have had transactions that day because I was also told that there were two unidentified people seen outside the center that time),” said OSCC executive director Merlina Metante.
Metante assured though that they have strengthened security at the center, saying that she even personally monitors the juvenile facility even at 2 a.m.
Eleven detainees broke out of their room last Monday and started a riot at OSCC, destroying monobloc chairs and throwing stones at the guards.
They claimed to be angry because authorities took away their privilege to play basketball for more than a month now.
But OSCC officials belied their claim, saying the offenders may have been protesting their impending transfer to the nearby city jail. Of the 11, seven were subjects to a pending petition before the different courts that they be committed to the regular jail facility since they were no longer minors.
Another possibility, they said, was that the riot was a diversion so they could slip illegal drugs into the adjacent city jail since Monday was really their scheduled play time.
Earlier, the OSCC also beefed up security measures after a former detainee was caught sneaking back to the facility, bringing small sachets of shabu inserted into packs of cigarettes placed inside a sack he was bringing.
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