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Bureau of Corrections
The Pre-colonial and Spanish Regimes: During the pre-colonial times, the informal prison system was community-based, as there were no national penitentiaries to speak of. Natives who defied or violated the local laws were meted appropriate penalties by the local chieftains. Incarceration in the community was only meant to prevent the culprit from further harming the local residents. The formal prison system in the Philippines started only during the Spanish regime, where an organized corrective service was made operational. Established in 1847 pursuant to Section 1708 of the Revised Administrative Code and formally opened by Royal Decree in 1865, the Old Bilibid Prison was constructed as the main penitentiary on Oroquieta Street, Manila and designed to house the prison population of the country. This prison became known as the Carcel y Presidio Correccional and could accommodate 1,127 prisoners. The Carcel was designed to house 600 prisoners who were segregated according to class, sex and crime while the Presidio could accommodate 527 prisoners. Plans for the construction of the prison were first published on September 12, 1859 but it was not until April 10, 1866 that the entire facility was completed. The prison occupied a quadrangular piece of land 180 meters long on each side, which was formerly a part of the Mayhalique Estate in the heart of Manila. It housed a building for the offices and quarters of the prison warden, and 15 buildings or departments for prisoners that were arranged in a radial way to form spokes. The central tower formed the hub. Under this tower was the chapel. There were four cell-houses for the isolated prisoners and four isolated buildings located on the four corners of the walls, which served as kitchen, hospital and stores. The prison was divided in the middle by a thick wall. One-half of the enclosed space was assigned to Presidio prisoners and the other half to Carcel prisoners. In 1908, concrete modern 200-bed capacity hospitals as well as new dormitories for the prisoners were added. A carpentry shop was organized within the confines of the facility. For sometime the shop became a trademark for fine workmanship of furniture made by prisoners. At this time, sales of handicrafts were done through the institutions and inmates were compensated depending on the availability of funds. As a consequence, inmates often had to sell through the retail or barter their products. On August 21, 1869, the San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm in Zamboanga City was established to confine Muslim rebels and recalcitrant political prisoners opposed to the Spanish rule. The facility, which faced the Jolo sea had Spanish-inspired dormitories and was originally set on a 1,414-hectare sprawling estate. Chapter 2 The American and Commonwealth Governments: When the Americans took over in the 1900s, the Bureau of Prisons was created under the Reorganization Act of 1905 (Act No. 1407 dated November 1, 1905) as an agency under the Department of Commerce and Police. It also paved the way for the re-establishment of San Ramon Prison in 1907 which was destroyed during the Spanish-American War. On January 1, 1915, the San Ramon Prison was placed under the auspices of the Bureau of Prisons and started receiving prisoners from Mindanao. Before the reconstruction of San Ramon Prison, the Americans established in 1904 the Iuhit penal settlement (now Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm) on a vast reservation of 28,072 hectares. It would reach a total land area of 40,000 hectares in the late 1950s. Located on the

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westernmost part of the archipelago far from the main town to confine incorrigibles with little hope of rehabilitation, the area was expanded to 41,007 hectares by virtue of Executive Order No. 67 issued by Governor Newton Gilbert on October 15, 1912. Other penal colonies were established during the American regime. On November 27, 1929, the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) was created under Act No. 3579 to provide separate facilities for women offenders while the Davao Penal Colony in Southern Mindanao was opened in 1932 under Act No. 3732. Chapter 3 Transfer of the Old Bilibid to Muntinlupa: The increasing number of committals to the Old Bilibid Prison, the growing urbanization of Manila and the constant lobbying by conservative groups prompted the government to plan and develop a new site for the national penitentiary, which was to be on the outskirts of the urban center. Accordingly, Commonwealth Act No. 67 was enacted, appropriating one million (P1,000.000.00) pesos for the construction of a new national prison in the southern suburb of Muntinlupa, Rizal in 1935. The old prison was transformed into a receiving center and a storage facility for farm produce from the colonies. It was later abandoned and is now under the jurisdiction of the Public Estates Authority. On November 15, 1940, all inmates of the Old Bilibid Prison in Manila were transferred to the new site. The new institution had a capacity of 3,000 prisoners and it was officially named the New Bilibid Prison on January 22, 1941. The prison reservation has an area of 587 hectares, part of which was arable. The prison compound proper had an area of 300 x 300 meters or a total of nine hectares. It was surrounded by three layers of barbed wire. Chapter 4 Developments After WWII: After World War II, there was a surplus of steel matting in the inventory and it was used to improve the security fences of the prison. A death chamber was constructed in 1941 at the rear area of the camp when the mode of execution was through electrocution. In the late 60s, fences were further reinforced with concrete slabs. The original institution became the maximum security compound in the 70s and continues to be so up to present, housing not only death convicts and inmates sentenced to life terms, but also those with numerous pending cases, multiple convictions and sentences of more than 20 years.. In the 1980s, the height of the concrete wall was increased and another facility was constructed, 2.5 kilometers from the main building. This became known as Camp Sampaguita or the Medium Security Camp, which was used as a military stockade during the martial law years and the Minimum Security Camp, whose first site was christened Bukang Liwayway. Later on, this was transferred to another site within the reservation where the former depot was situated. Under Proclamation No. 72 issued on September 26, 1954, the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro was established. In The Leyte Regional Prison followed suit under Proclamation No. 1101 issued on January 16, 1973. Chapter 5 Birth of the Reception and Diagnostic Center: Recognizing the need to properly orient newly committed prisoners to the Bureau of Corrections, the Reception and Diagnostic Center (RDC) was created through Administrative Order No. 8, series of 1953 of the Department of Justice. It was patterned after the reception facilities of the California State Prison. The RDC is an independent institution tasked to receive, study, and classify all national prisoners committed by final judgment to the National Penitentiary.

The first RDC facility was created in Building No. 9 of the Maximum Security Compound of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), Muntinlupa City. To isolate the facility from the maximum security wing which was rocked by violence in 1973, the RDC was relocated to Building No. 7, formerly referred to as Metro Jail of the Medium Security Compound of Camp Sampaguita, NBP. To further insulate the newly received inmates from gangs, the Center was transferred to what was once the military command post adjacent to the Medium Security facility where the RDC remains to this day. The RDC is a separate division with a technical function. The Chief of the RDC sees to its independence in carrying out its tasks of receiving and classifying all male national inmates committed to the Bureau of Corrections by the competent courts. The RDC chief reports directly to the Director all the activities undertaken by RDC personnel. The success of prison rehabilitation programs depends on how the RDC handles the orientation, diagnosis and treatment of newly arrived inmates. Every effort is made to determine an inmates strength as well as moral weaknesses, physical inadequacies, character disorders, and his educational, social and vocational needs. It is during the first sixty (60) days, during the initial contact between a prisoner and his new environment that primordial functions pertaining to his care and rehabilitation treatment are exhaustively carried out by the staff. At the end of the period, the inmate is ready for transfer to any of the penal institutions. He is expected to have overcome his fears and prejudices and is prepared to cooperate in the implementation of his rehabilitation program. Being the initial stop of every national male prisoner, the RDC is constantly improving its rehabilitative programs. One such reform is the adoption of the behavioral modification modality. Originally a program for drug dependents, the RDC chief recognized the potential of applying its principles to all committed inmates. Thus the RDC was turned into a Therapeutic Community Camp on February 6, 2003. On June 4, 2004, the RDC also started erasing gang marks of all newly committed prisoners in an effort to eradicate the gang system within the Bureau. Later, then Director Dionisio Santiago entrusted the administration of the Muntinlupa Juvenile Training Center (MJTC) to the RDC through a memorandum dated June 18, 2005. Under a memorandum of Director Vicente G. Vinarao dated March 31, 2005, the RDC was given administrative control over all other RDCs of the Bureau of Corrections. The RDC has evolved into an institution that uses a modern positive approach towards penology. Chapter 6 Non-Operational National Prisons: Before World War II, two national prisons were established by the government which are no long operational. One was on Corregidor Island and the other in the Mountain Province. In 1908 during the American regime, some 100 prisoners were transferred from the Old Bilibid Prison to the Corregidor Island Prison Stockage to work under military authorities. This move was in accordance with an order from the Department of Instructions, which approved the transfer of inmates so they could assist in maintenance and other operations in the stockade. The inmates were transported not to serve time but for prison labor. Until the outbreak of the Second World War, inmates from Bilibid Prison were regularly sent to Corregidor for labor purposes. When the War broke out, prisoners on Corregidor were returned to Bilibid Prison. The island prison was never re-opened. The Philippine Legislature during the American regime also passed Act No. 1876 providing for the establishment of a prison in Bontoc, Mountain Province. The prison was built for the prisoners of the province and insular prisoners who were members of the non-Christian tribes of Mountain Province and Nueva Viscaya.

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The Bontoc prison could be reach only through narrow, poorly developed mountain roads. Due to the enormous expenses incurred in transporting personnel, equipment and supplies to the prison, the facility was abandoned and officially closed on April 26, 1932. INTRODUCTION Crimes against persons, such as murder, homicide, parricide, continue to dominate the offense profile, accounts for 50% of the cases of national prisoners. 17 persons were executed by hanging after world war 2, and 84 thru electric chair from 1924 to 1976. NBP is also the designated facility for death sentenced prisoners, the site of the Lethal Injection Chamber. Following the re-imposition of Death Penalty in 1994, 7 death convicts were so far executed by lethal injection. At present there are more than a thousand death convicts awaiting their execution. A majority of inmates confined in national prison did not finish secondary education while nearly 6% never went to school or were illiterate. Only 3% earned a college degree. It was felt that the first step in our rehabilitation effort is to provide the basic needs of inmate as human being. The other steps in the rehabilitation process are the provision of work programs, health care, education and skills training, recreation and sports, religious guidance and behavior modification using the therapeutic community approach. PROGRAMS OF THE BUREAU OF CORRECTIONS One of the primordial mandates of the Bureau of Corrections is the effective rehabilitation of prisoners; thus, various programs are in place to address the rehabilitation aspect in corrections. The term "rehabilitation" entered the official jargon of corrections in the country in 1955. This was when the Geneva Convention introduced the United Nations Standards on the Treatment of Prisoners to which the country is a signatory. Considered a breakthrough in protecting the rights of the incarcerated or those under the custody of law, rehabilitation has become the principal goal of corrections. Rehabilitation was first applied in medical practice. It came from the Latin word habilis -- literally, fit or suitable. Its meaning was expanded to mean to restore to sound operation or to reestablish the good reputation (Bantam, 1991). Rehabilitation in correctional work is done through a combination of programs that involves spiritual activities, educational courses (formal and informal), medical and hygienic practices, cultural and recreational activities, productive work, counseling, therapeutic and disciplinary measures. After the basic needs of an inmate are met, the formal rehabilitation process involves the following institutionalized programs: Inmate Work program, health care, education and skills training, recreation and sports, religious guidance and behavior modification using the therapeutic community approach. Inmate Work Program The Bureau offers a variety of inmate work programs, from agricultural to industrial. The purpose of the inmate work program is to keep the inmates busy, and to provide them money for their personal expenses and their families as well as help them acquire livelihood skills, in order that they may become productive citizens once they are released and assimilated back into the mainstream of society. Different prison and penal farms provide institutional work programs for inmates. At the Davao Penal Colony, inmates work on the banana plantations of Tagum Development Company (TADECO) which has a joint venture agreement with the Bureau. Similarly, the vast tracts of

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land at the Iwahig Penal Colony are developed and tilled by inmates to produce various agricultural products, thereby generating income for the Bureau. The Sablayan Prison and Penal farm also provides agriculture and aquaculture programs for inmates. Along this end, the Bureau under the present Director has encouraged agricultural and industrial production by providing farming implements, tractors, fertilizers and other inputs in order to sustain this area of rehabilitation for inmates. Health Care Services Upon his initial commitment to the Reception and Diagnostic Center (RDC), the inmates medical history is recorded and properly documented by the Medical Specialist. Medical information and mental status examinations are given to ascertain his overall physical / mental fitness and whether he would be fit for work. This forms part of the diagnostic process which will eventually determine the most appropriate rehabilitation program for the inmate. The principal medical care of inmates is provided through a 500-bed capacity hospital at the New Bilibid Prisons and at six (6) other mini-hospitals or clinics in the six (6) other prison and penal farms. All correctional facilities have a full and competent staff of medical practitioners in charge of clinics, infirmaries and hospitals. These centers are capable of minor surgical operations, laboratory examinations, radiology, psychiatric, rehabilitation and dental treatment. Other government and private hospitals are also tapped in the implementation of standards pertaining to nutrition and protective health services for the prison community. Medical services also include a wide range of counseling techniques and therapy programs which address the psychological problems of inmates, including suicidal thoughts and feelings of rejection which may lead to disruption of peace and order within the prison compounds. When an inmates ailment is beyond the competence of the in-house medical doctors, the inmate is referred to a government hospital in accordance with prison rules and under proper security escorts. Education and Skills Training Rehabilitation can be facilitated by improving an inmates academic and job skills. Records show that many prisoners are poorly educated. A majority are elementary school drop outs or have not even finished primary school. Prison education amounts to remedial schooling designed to prepare inmates to obtain basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics. In most correctional facilities, vocational programs are incorporated into job assignments and serve as on-the-job training. The goal is to provide inmates with skills that will improve their eligibility for jobs upon release. Most prison vocational training is geared toward traditional blue-collar employment in areas such as electronics, auto mechanics and handicrafts. At the Reception and Diagnostic Center, a basic computer literacy course with typing as a support course is available for inmates who have finished at least high school level. Vocational training and social education focus on job readiness. The concern in these areas is life skills. If inmates are to reenter society and abstain from criminal activity, they must be employable and have the basic tools necessary to function as responsible citizens. The National Penitentiary has a college degree program and a tertiary degree correspondence course, in addition to the regular secondary and compulsory basic literacy classes. Prisoners are strongly encouraged by the BuCor authorities to enroll while serving their sentence and to advance their academic skills.

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Recreation and Sports The inmates enjoy sunrise by participating in daily calisthenics. There are various indoor and outdoor sports activities, programs, tournaments and leagues all year round, to include basketball, volleyball, billiards, table tennis and chess. These sports competitions promote camaraderie among inmates, good sportsmanship and team-building. The latest addition is the newly constructed indoor sports center/gymnasium at the Maximum Security Compound which boasts of competition-standard flooring, sound system, locker rooms and bleachers. All prison and penal farms have adequate recreational facilities for inmates, both for outdoor and indoor sports. Mini-bodybuilding gyms are available in most prison facilities, including the Muntinlupa Juvenile Training Center and the Therapeutic Community Center for inmates with drug cases. For music lovers and musically-inclined inmates, numerous "videoke" centers are available. Musical instruments are available for practice or for use in variety shows. Religious and Spiritual Guidance Program Inmates enjoy freedom of religion. All inmates are free to observe the rituals of their faith, with orderly conduct supervised by prison authorities. A religious guidance adviser or chaplain is assigned in every prison and penal farm. The prison chaplain sets the stage for every regular spiritual activity. He is an officer of the institution who oversees the operation of the prison chapel. He is not only the spiritual leader but also a counselor and adviser. Prisoners may be baptized or given other sacraments. Religious Volunteer Officers, or RVOs belonging to different church groups provide weekly religious activities ranging from bible studies, devotions, prayer meetings or praise and worship. With a predominantly Roman Catholic prison population, a Catholic Mass is a regular feature in spiritual activities of the prison communities. Restrictions, however, are imposed if, in the course of religious activities, security is compromised or a program is too expensive. Therapeutic Community Program The Therapeutic Community (TC) Program represents an effective, highly structured environment with defined boundaries, both moral and ethical. The primary goal is to foster personal growth. This is accomplished by re-shaping an individuals behavior and attitudes through the inmates community working together to help themselves and each other, restoring self confidence, and preparing them for their re-integration into their families and friends as productive members of the community. Patterned after Daytop TC, New York which is the base of the Therapeutic Community movement in the world, the BuCor TC program was adopted as part of the Bureau's holistic approach towards inmate rehabilitation. It is implemented primarily but not limited to drug dependents. The TC approach has been continuously proven worldwide as an effective treatment and rehabilitation modality among drug dependents, and have been noted to be effective in many prisons. By immersing a drug offender in the TC environment, he learns why he had developed his destructive habits, which led him to substance abuse. The program modifies negative behavior and or attitudes while restoring self confidence, and prepares inmates for their reintegration into their families and friends as productive members of the community. This behavioral modification program gradually re-shapes or re-structures the inmate within a family-like environment, wherein every member acts as his brothers keeper.