BJMP-7 Director Jail Chief Superintendent Paulino Halamani Moreno Jr. and USC President Fr. Dionisio Miranda signed the memorandum of agreement during the anniversary of the Cebu City Justice Zone on Friday.
Joy Torrejos
Law students tapped to help decongest jail
Grace Melanie I. Lacamiento (The Freeman) - October 14, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)-7 and the University of San Carlos have inked an agreement to help decongest the overcrowded Cebu City Jail by fielding in volunteer law students to monitor the status of the cases of the accused.

BJMP-7 Director Jail Chief Superintendent Paulino Halamani Moreno Jr. and USC President Fr. Dionisio Miranda signed the memorandum of agreement during the anniversary of the Cebu City Justice Zone on Friday.

As of August 2019, the city jail houses 5,800 inmates, broken down into 4,439 males, 898 females, 63 from the Operation Second Chance, and 400 from the City of Naga jail.

The Operation Second Chance houses children in conflict with the law while the Naga inmates are housed at the facility because the Naga jail is currently exposed to the risk of a landslide.

Under the MOA, the Cebu City Jail management and the university have agreed to cooperate with each other for the benefit of the prison community, particularly on case monitoring and coordination which are seen as initial steps toward jail decongestion.

The university's extension arm, the Community Extension Services, through the USC-Center for Legal Aid Work, aims to assist the BJMP in the monitoring of the cases of the inmates and in the coordination with criminal justice stakeholders.

Under the agreement, volunteer law students, faculty, and personnel of USC shall monitor the cases of the inmates and assess their compliance with the existing laws, rights and regulations on the rights of the accused.

After, these rights shall be ensured to be respected through a closer coordination with the stakeholders of the justice system.

The BJMP shall also assist and cooperate with USC in the implementation of the case monitoring and coordination and allow the latter to conduct studies utilizing the data and develop programs, projects and activities.

In addition, USC shall also extend professional or academic expertise, equipment and facilities.

The monitoring of the cases shall be held inside the city jail while the coordination may be done inside or outside the facility.

Both monitoring and coordination shall be scheduled from Monday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The agreement shall remain in effect for three years and may be renewed by the parties. (FREEMAN)

BUREAU OF JAIL MANAGEMENT AND PENOLOGY
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