Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The Law and Human Rights Ministry has transferred 228 convicted drug dealers from Jakarta, Yogyakarta and West Java to the country's maximum-security prison at Nusakambangan Island in Central Java.
The ministry's corrections director general, Reynhard Silitonga, said the transfer was conducted in four waves, with the latest wave involving 90 inmates from West Java. The transfer started on July 5.
Out of the 228 convicts, 75 were from Jakarta, 22 from Yogyakarta and 90 from West Java. The convicts will be assigned to individual cells in the maximum-security penitentiary.
"This is part of our commitment to eradicating narcotics from Indonesia. Hopefully, the prisoner transfer will help reduce drug circulation in the country," Reynhard said as quoted in a statement on Saturday.
The move is part of efforts to solve the problem of prisons operating beyond their capacity, as well as to address the recent discovery of drug rings controlled behind bars by imprisoned drug dealers.
Reynhard previously said that any wardens found to be involved in drug deals would be convicted and transferred to the infamous prison island.
First built by the Dutch colonial administration in 1908 to hold political prisoners, the Nusakambangan prison island now includes seven correctional facilities with a total capacity of 1,606 inmates.
The island can only be reached by a 1-kilometer ferry crossing from the Wijaya Pura Port in Cilacap, Central Java, making it suitable to house high-risk prisoners.
In May last year, human rights activists slammed the correctional officers of Nusakambangan prison island in Central Java after a video of them mistreating inmates went viral on social media. The footage showed correctional officers dragging bound and handcuffed inmates across the dirt, some of whom could be seen with injuries on their back.
Responding to the video, the corrections directorate general dismissed the Nusakambangan narcotics prison warden.