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Luh De Suriyani, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar | Mon, 10/31/2011 9:50 PM|

Real estate woes are hampering the construction of a women’s prison, a senior official says.

“We are ready to start the construction stage this year because we have already acquired the necessary funding. However, we have yet to get the land required for the construction,” Law and Human Rights Ministry provincial office head Taswem Tarib said.

The funds to construct the special prison came from the central government’s budget. The Badung regency administration was expected to provide the land for the construction.

“We have been waiting for the land for a year. It really astounds me that up until now the regency administration has not been able to provide us with the land,” he said.

The prison, he pointed out, would significantly ease the ongoing over-capacity problem suffered by the island’s largest correctional facility in Kerobokan.

Currently, Kerobokan comprises a women’s detention facility, children’s facility, men’s facility and detention blocks for drug-related inmates.

“The conditions in Kerobokan are inhumane and characteristic of overcrowded cells,” he said.

The correctional facility was designed to house 300 inmates. Currently, more than 1,000 inmates and detainees share a living space in the facility.

The female blocks in Kerobokan are much cleaner than those for male inmates. However, the over-capacity problem has not spared the women’s blocks.

Each cell was designed to hold a maximum of five inmates, but most hold as many as 10.

Several months ago, the charity organization Bali International Women’s Association (BIWA) donated a water tower and water tank to help cope with the water shortage experienced by the women inmates.

“We have found a perfect location to build the women’s prison; now it is up to the local administration,” he said.

Tarib also planned to build a special prison for foreign inmates.