GENERAL SANTOS CITY — Inmates at the overcrowded South Cotabato Rehabilitation and Detention Center got some relief following the completion of four new cells at the facility.
Juan Lanzaderas Jr., provincial jail warden, said they formally opened Tuesday the newly-completed prison cells, which were constructed through funding from the provincial government.
He said the local government had released some P2.3 million for the construction of the four cells, which can accommodate 50 inmates each.
“This is big relief for our inmates considering that our jail is really overcrowded,” he said in an interview.
The provincial jail has a population of around 1,200 inmates, which is way beyond its capacity of 400.
The provincial government, through South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes, approved last year the construction of the additional cells to help decongest the facility.
It also funded the construction of a multipurpose hall that would serve as livelihood training facility for the inmates.
Lanzaderas said that aside from the new cells, they also opened the jail’s 10 newly-rehabilitated and refurbished conjugal rooms.
He said the conjugal rooms were mainly improved to make them “presentable and conducive for the couples.”
The improvements included the repainting of the walls and the installation of floor tiles, he said.
The official said couples who are both inmates of the jail may use the conjugal rooms once every month for a maximum of two hours.
Those whose husbands and wives are based outside the jail may use the rooms during the visitation hours once every week for the same period, he said.
“But only those couples who have marriage certificates will be allowed to use our conjugal rooms,” Lanzaderas said.
He said couples may bring their own beddings when using the conjugal rooms and would be charged with a minimal fee of P10 to cover for the maintenance expenses.
Aside from the new prison cells and improved conjugal rooms, the provincial jail received two new prison vehicles worth P2 million each from the provincial government.
Fuentes earlier vowed to provide two more vehicles for the facility by next year. PNA