Cebu jails tighten, no selfies with visitors

By: Apple Ta-as, Jose Santino S. Bunachita December 22,2014 - 01:29 AM

strict. Relatives and friends line up at the entrance of the Cebu City Jail.

strict. Relatives and friends line up at the entrance of the Cebu City Jail.

There won’t be any selfies for inmates and their families inside the Cebu City Jail and the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) on Christmas Day or New Year.

This after both jail facilities were ordered to monitor the visitors of inmates to prevent the delivery of contraband items like cellphones and drugs within the facility during the holiday season.

Cebu City Hall’s Police Coordinating and Advisory Council (PCAC) advised City Jail Warden Supt. Johnson Calub to inspect the items brought by the visitors of inmates.

“Although family members may be allowed maximum visitation rights, they should also be monitored and the things they’ll bring inside must be thoroughly checked. They may contain contrabands and illegal drugs,” Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella said.

Stricter security measures were instituted at the CPDRC following the discovery of cellphones in the possession of several inmates last week, Provincial Consultant on Security and Jail Matters Marco Torral said.

“With their Christmas party this December 24, we instructed the inmates to  surrender the gadgets they acquired from their visiting relatives inside. Before they can even eat, we told them that they should surrender illegal contraband they have inside like cellphones, tablets or any other gadgets,” Torral said.

Labella, who heads PCAC, said he instructed Calub to make sure that what happened at the CPDRC and the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City won’t ever happen in the Cebu City Jail.

The New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City landed in the headlines of national dailies after a raid led to the discovery of VIP rooms comparable to condominium units within its premises.

“There should not be favored inmates enjoying special privileges. Because we acknowledge that our penal system must be reformatory and corrective, not purely punitive, allowing irregularities to be perpetrated inside the jail defeats its purpose,” Labella said.

Torral said 12 blue guards will be assigned in the facility from Christmas Eve on December 24 to New Year’s Eve on December 31.

“This is already approved by the Capitol. These 12 blue guards will augment the 70 personnel in the center with 16 other blue guards for security measures,” he said.

He said their security will be tight since they will allow some families to stay overnight in the center and return home the following day.

Torral said close monitoring of inmates can help avoid a repeat of what happened in New Bilibid Prison at the CPDRC.

Last week, the CPDRC confiscated 285 cell phones from the inmates. Torral said they already installed high voltage wires to the wall where the gadgets were allegedly thrown together with security cameras and lights.

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TAGS: Cebu City, CPDRC, Facebook, inmates, jail, security, selfie, social network

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