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Bali Prison Secures Rp 2.8b in Funding for Repairs

Denpasar. The government has earmarked Rp 2.8 billion ($325,000) to rehabilitate Bali’s Kerobokan prison, which was damaged during a riot in June.

“We received the funds last week,” said Siswanto, head of the penitentiary, adding that the money came from this year’s revised state budget.

Siswanto said it would mostly be used to pay for major repairs on six blocks at the penitentiary where walls and bars were damaged when detainees rioted after an anti-drug squad attempted to seize a suspected drug dealer who was operating from inside the jail.

He said gaping holes in some walls and severe damage to bars made it possible for detainees to mix freely.

Repair work was scheduled for the main hall, registration room, visitors’ room and the jail’s cooperative and canteen, Siswanto said. “In total, there are 18 locations that were damaged,” he added.

Siswanto and another warden were injured during the June riot when inmates pelted them with stones. Prisoners also set fire to television sets, refrigerators and sound systems.

Siswanto said that because of the urgent nature of the repairs, no tender would be held. The renovation and rehabilitation work will be by direct appointment.

“This is part of emergency relief, therefore there doesn’t need to be any tender,” he said.

Kerobokan is grossly overcrowded with cell blocks that are meant to hold 100 convicts having to accommodate as many as 300 prisoners. The prison has a total of 1,070 inmates, 53 of whom are foreigners.

Taswem Tarib, head of Bali’s justice and human rights office, said that it had been in contact with provincial authorities to locate a new site to build a bigger prison, but so far no response had been received.

According to Taswem, a new jail being built in Bangli district specifically to house drug offenders has not received any funding this year. Only the outer walls have so far been built.