Overcrowded jail receives funds

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Monday, December 9, 2013


THE Mandaue City Jail is serving a population more than four times its capacity, raising health risks among its over 1,000 inmates.

Insp. Brian Mercado, assistant jail warden, said the jail received a P400,000 grant from the Department of Health to build an infirmary for sick detainees.

The jail’s male dormitory can only accommodate 250 inmates, but it now houses 1,003.

The facility also has beds for only eight female detainees, but the number has gone to about a hundred.

Mercado raised the concern during a recent meeting of the City Management Coordinating Council.

Overcrowding will remain a problem in the City Jail unless the plan of the national office of Bureau of Jail Management and Penology to build a two-storey building in the jail pushes through next year.

JO3 Annie Rose Berdin, deputy wardress of the Mandaue City Jail, said some female inmates have to sleep on cardboards because there are not enough beds.

Jhoaden Lucero, head of the Department of Interior and Local Government-Mandaue, said the City can help address the problem by providing a lot where new jail buildings can be constructed.

But finding for available lots in the increasing congested city has also become a challenge.

Because of congestion in the City Jail, Mercado said inmates take turns occupying their decks. The jail building’s aisle has to be occupied as well.

Transfer

Aside from overcrowding in the City Jail, the need to transfer three police stations was also raised during last Thursday’s meeting.

The Canduman Police Station needs to be transferred because it partly occupies a private property. The Opao Police Station needs a new location because its building sits atop a river, making it an illegal structure.

The Centro Police Station also needs to be transferred because it occupies the second floor of the old public market, which has long been condemned by the City Engineering Office.

The City is still looking for available public spaces for the transfer of the police stations. The Mandaue City Police Office has six police stations.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 09, 2013.

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