Prisoners Assimilation Program Must be Carried Out Correctly So Society do not Panic

The assimilation program carried out by the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Kemenkumham) due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been responded by a polemic. This is because some prisoners who have been released returned to criminal acts. As of April 14th, there have been at least crimes committed by 13 ex-convicts who have been released. Seeing this, a legal expert of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY) said that the mechanism of controlling ex-convicts and their socialization to the community needed to be reexamined in order not to cause unrest for the community.

Dr. Trisno Raharjo, S.H., M.Hum said that the public had not received sufficient information regarding various matters concerning free prisoners. Trisno also understood the public’s fear because the prisoners were suddenly released in large numbers.

“Sebenarnya karena jumlah yang keluar langsung begitu banyak dan angka-angkanya diberitakan, saya menganggap kekhawatiran masyarakat itu wajar. Lalu harus ada penjelasan kepada msyarakat, mengenai alasan kebebasan para narapidana secara terperinci,” katanya saat dihubungi oleh Biro Humas dan Protokol (BHP) UMY melalui sambungan telefon (13/4).

“Because the numbers that came out were so large and it was reported, I consider the people’s concerns to be reasonable. Then there must be a detailed explanation about the reasons for the release of the prisoners,” he said when contacted by the Public Relations and Protocol Bureau (BHP) of UMY via telephone (13/4).

The Dean of the Faculty of Law of UMY also added that the government and the police must be able to give guarantees to all parties, both the public and free prisoners.

The authorities must coordinate with village officials in the area where the ex-convicts were released due to the Kemenkumham program. They must know the identity, residence, and the crime of said ex-convict. This has to be done to improve the supervision process at lower level.

“There must be an explanation, what crimes did they commit. They must also know the forms of supervision that were carried out by the authorities. Then, the identities of those released must also be known, “he added.

Trisno also stated that the government must guarantee the lives of released prisoners. “Those who are removed from prison must have a family or a place of accommodation if they do not have a family. If there is no place to stay after they were released, then this is not in line with the purpose of assimilation to save prisoners from being exposed to the COVID-19 epidemic. In addition,  the funds that have been budgeted to take care of prisoners in prison should be diverted to temporarily finance their lives. So I still think that we need to make sure that the prisoners released have families,” he said.

On the other hand, Trisno also stated that there is also a mistake in the way the government thinks. The government considers that the release of prisoners will save money for the state. The money that the state will save comes from free food for prisoners. “Funds should be given to prisoners who are outside for them to survive, this should still be seen as an effort of preventing ex-convicts to commit more crime. The funds provided can also help the families of prisoners to survive. That way, there is no reason for them to return to crime,” he concluded. (Ak)

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