APSN Banner

Becora prison out of room for new prisoners

Dili Weekly - May 28, 2018

Paulina Quintao – The Director for Becora prison, in Dili, Joao DomiNGOs said Becora prison can only accommodate 250 prisoners, but currently it hosts 606 prisoners which puts a strain on prison services.

He said the prison has big blocks with 23 cells for adults can accommodate a maximum of 101 inmates, and the small blocks cells can only accommodate a maximum of 80 inmates so that everyone has enough room.

He said he is in discussions with Gleno and Suai Prisons to transfer some of the prisoners to those other facilities as Becora Prison is overflowing.

"We don't have problems between inmates yet as they understanding this is the reality and they still get enough space," he said from his office at Becora Prison.

He acknowledged the prison has its limitations, in regard to equipment and human resources, but as Timorese they are committed to performing their duties as best they can.

On whether there are plans to build a new prison, he said that this will not sold the problem and it is more important that the community is aware they should not commit crimes.

He informed there are total of 139 staff at Becora Prison including prison guards, trainers and cleaners.

On the other hand, the Director of Human Rights Association (HAK) Manuel Monteiro said the current conditions of Becora Prison is not adequate and the facility needs to be rehabilitated because it was built during Indonesian times.

He has concerns with the limited space for inmates because some suffer from mental illness and other may carry contagious diseases including Tuberculosis and are in the same cell as other inmates.

"We have asked to place them in different areas for treatment and to access psychiatric services to treat their mental condition and so they can get recovery," he said.

He hopes the upcoming government will to look at this issue and create separate spaces for those who suffer from Tuberculosis and other contagious disease in order to not transmit it to the general prison population.

Source: http://www.thediliweekly.com/en/news/15601-becora-prison-out-of-room-for-new-prisoners