Languages
Page last updated at 14:24 GMT, Tuesday, 27 April 2010 15:24 UK

Indonesia opens first corruption prison

Indonesian protesters march during a rally marking the 100th day of President Yudhoyono's second term in Jakarta
In January thousands marched to express anger over corruption

Indonesia's justice minister has opened the country's first prison wing for people convicted of corruption.

The wing, which is part of Cipinang Penitentiary in East Jakarta, can house up to 256 inmates convicted of graft.

It was built after it emerged that many officials jailed for corruption were living relatively luxurious lives behind bars.

The facility already has 10 inmates, the Jakarta Globe said, including an ex-minister and a former lawmaker.

Sixteen single cells would hold aged or ailing inmates, the prison's architect said, with other inmates sharing 48 cells, each housing up to five people.

'Nothing special'

Justice Minister Patrialis Akbar told the BBC that the wing was needed to separate corruption convicts from petty criminals, and would reduce overcrowding in Indonesia's prisons.

"It is obvious we can not put them in the same place with those who committed murder or petty theft," he said.

"These so-called corruptors have in the past done so many good things for this country. They include professors, doctors, ex-government ministers, surely we can not put them with the other criminals?

"In fact we still need many of their brains to make this country better. Prison should be a correctional institution, not a vengeance institution," he said.

But he emphasised that the inmates would not be getting better treatment.

"There is nothing special nor any special facilities with this prison. It is just that we separate them from the criminal prison. There is no air-conditioner, not even fans, nor television. The mattresses are as thin as other prisons."

Indonesia is often ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world - something that extends to the prison system, where wealthy prisoners can secure better conditions.

In January an inspection of one prison found that a businesswoman jailed for five years for bribery was living in a large, carpeted single cell equipped with comfortable furniture, a fridge and a flat-screen television.

That same month thousands of Indonesians took to the streets of Jakarta to protest against corruption, and in particular against the arrest of two officials from the powerful anti-corruption commission.

Many Indonesians saw the arrests as an attempt to unfairly target one of the few institutions people think of as credible.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Indonesia protest over corruption
28 Jan 10 |  Asia-Pacific
Indonesia battles with widespread corruption
09 Dec 09 |  Asia-Pacific
Yudhoyono speaks on Indonesia row
23 Nov 09 |  Asia-Pacific
Indonesia fights corruption with people power
06 Nov 09 |  Asia-Pacific
Resignations in Indonesia scandal
05 Nov 09 |  Asia-Pacific
Indonesian leader wins election
24 Jul 09 |  Asia-Pacific
Indonesia country profile
29 Sep 11 |  Country profiles

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Daily Star Afghans jail Briton for bribery - 14 hrs ago


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific