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Prison gangs and prison governance in the Philippines

By Clarke Jones

Abstract

This article provides insight into the compromises prison administrators take to gain inmate compliance in New Bilibid Prison, the largest maximum security facility in the Philippines, and one of the largest in the world. Abstract In the large, overcrowded, out-dated and under-funded prisons of the Philippines, the essential task of maintaining prison order is complex and often problematic. To carry out this crucial (albeit usually elusive) task, prison administrators are forced not only to compromise organisational integrity, but also to relinquish basic aspects of their management function to prison gang leaders. Due to scarce resources and high levels of corruption, prison administrators are also unable to adequately provide security and protection to inmates. It is therefore common practice for Philippine prisons to operate under a system of shared governance. In this type of arrangement, prison gang leaders help to maintain internal control and safeguard inmates as best they can. Even though prison stability is fragile, gang leaders help prison guards restore order quickly once disorder occurs. Based on the author’s personal observations over a three-year period, as well as his personal interactions with prison gang leaders and prison officials, this paper provides insight into the compromises prison administrators take to gain inmate compliance in New Bilibid Prison (NBP) - the largest maximum security facility in the Philippines and one of the largest in the world

Topics: Prisons, Corruption, Human rights, Prison administration
Publisher: Griffith Asia Quarterly
Year: 2014
OAI identifier: oai:apo.org.au:39352
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