Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Guv mulls removing restrictions

CLOSE physical contact between inmates and visitors may soon be allowed at Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC).

That is, if everything goes well, according to Gov. Hilario Davide III.

Jail management currently implements the no-touch policy and controlled visits after a surprise inspection last month yielded contraband that included illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, sex toys and cellular phones, among others, and after inmate Arnel Amit escaped.

Asked if he has considered restoring the previous policy, Davide said in Cebuano: “Yeah of course. We’ve considered comments of visitors and the inmates’ relatives. So maybe, we’ll allow physical contact later on, but we’re still observing the new system.”

ositive feedback

The governor has received positive feedback a week after the Capitol restored the inmates’ visitation privileges last Sept. 5.

“We now have deployed K-9s to check all visitors. So far, we haven’t anyone trying to bring in drugs or any other contraband. I hope this continues and that all visitors cooperate with us by not trying to smuggle in any contraband,” Davide said in Cebuano.

Visitors and inmates are separated by a screen during visits. Physical contact between them is not allowed, except for married couples, who can have 30 minutes of private time inside conjugal rooms.

When the CPDRC opened its doors to visitors again last Sept. 5, it did so by batches. On the first day, only inmates from Cell 1 to 25 could have visitors. The next day, Cell 26 to 50, and so on.

The facility only allows 75 visitors daily to make it manageable for police and jail guards.

The visitor turnout on the first day was manageable, according to the governor.

“(Acting warden Roberto) Legaspi told me that everything went well. We expected many people to come, but only a few showed up,” he said in Cebuano.

Davide said if everything turns out well, he may ask the police to return to their mother unit, the Provincial Public Safety Company.
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