Boying wants digitized prison records

There’s an urgent need to digitize records-keeping in the country’s penal facilities, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla said yesterday.

Remulla issued the statement as the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) announced it has released 4,461 inmates in the last seven months ending on 22 July.

According to the BuCor, most of those released from prison facilities nationwide had either served their sentences, acquitted, pardoned and paroled, or released under the Good Conduct Time Allowance.

As of 11 April 2022, the bureau said 48,991 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) were presently housed in seven prison and penal farms, including the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City, Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro, San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm in Zamboanga City, and the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Palawan, Leyte. BuCor Deputy Director-General Gabriel Chaclag said 1,640 PDLs were freed last June and July, while in 2021, a total of 4,610 inmates were released by BuCor.

To decongest BuCor’s prison facilities, Chaclag said they are expediting the release of qualified PDLs, something which Remulla said they are also doing at the DoJ to ease the 330 percent prison congestion.

Remulla said that one of the measures is the fast-tracking of the digitization of a single system for the carpetas or prison records of PDLs, saying he wants it done double-time.

Carpetas, according to the Justice chief, have yet to be fully digitized and made available online for government agencies in need of the prison records.

Prisoner records are used by the courts and other government agencies like the Board of Pardons and Parole and the Parole and Probation Administration to see what can be done to speed up the release of inmates.

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