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Bali’s Hotel K Unfit for Human Occupation

Bali’s Overcrowded and Underfunded Kerobokan Prison Needs Urgent Replacement

Bali’s notorious Kerobokan Prison is suffering from severe overcrowding and acute underfunding.

As reported by detik.com, Bali’s Governor Wayan Koster is urging that Bali’s main prison be rebuilt to house more prisoners in a new location. The Governor, on Saturday, August 17, 2019, speaking at a holiday sentencing remission program at Kerobokan prison, said, “We have communicated with the Regional Head of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights (Kemenkum HAM) on how to build a new prison in a new location to rehabilitate the current prison population.”

The official capacity of the Kerobokan Prison is 323 prisoners, a figure far below its current population of 1,123 convicts. Meanwhile, the warden of Kerobokan, Tonny Nainggolan, freely admits that the overcrowding of the Prison is creating a huge debt problem for the penitentiary.

Warden Nainggolan said: “Our budget is very limited, with debt being incurred in supplying food, electricity, and medical services. Our budget last years was around Rp. 100 million per month, but is now only Rp. 75 million per month. It is almost a certainty that debt (in running the prison) will accumulate. This will become obvious in the month of October.”

Tonny Nainggolan said that due to overcrowding, the current food bill at the prison reaches Rp. 2 billion annually. Breaking this down through extrapolation results in a daily budget of only Rp. 4,879 to provide food rations for one prisoner. Assuming a kilo of rice costs Rp. 10,000 and the average level of daily consumption is 0.54 kilograms, this means that even with Rupiah 2 billion annual budget, prisoners would not receive the average daily allotment of rice consumed by most Indonesians. Moreover, this is without any further allocation for any of the other food groups necessary for a sustainable diet.

Nainggolan said the prison also needs Rp. 100 million each month for electricity.

Because of overcrowding and under budgeting, the prison is in arrears for an entire year to food suppliers for between Rp. 1.5-2 billion and Rp. 100 – 200 million for medical services.

Despite the dire current condition of Bali’s main prison, plans to relocate the facility are still very much only in the discussion stage. No survey has been undertaken for a new site, according to the local Ministry Justice and Human Rights Regional Representative, Bali Sutrisno.

Perhaps displaying a degree of unbridled naiveté in combination with wide-eyed optimism, Sutrisno told the press that he hoped the public would obey the law, thereby reducing the need for larger prisons. 

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