Inmates Assimilation and Integration as The Solutions of Covid-19 Outbreak, Law and Society Perspective

By:​​ Aldio Fahrezi Permana Atmaja


 The condition right now is never predicted before, the Covid-19 pandemic that begin​​ at early January, 2020 at Wuhan China​​ is​​ such a nightmare, either for Government nor people. IMF (International Monetary Fund) stated that this condition is worst economic downturn since the great depression in 1929.1​​ This disease has resulted in a dreadfully large number of human lives being lost and make the world has been put in the great lockdown.​​ This disease is spread rapidly caused​​ by high commute​​ people​​ because happen during a​​ new year’s holiday and Chinese New Year​​ not only in China but also all around the world.

From​​ economic viewpoint, Global economy is already in recession2​​ means that​​ many companies were struggled in their cashflow and should take action to do something to save the companies​​ from financial problem​​ and one of them​​ is​​ lay offing workers,​​ Over 1.2 million workers from 74,439 companies in both the formal and informal sectors​​ in Indonesia​​ have either been told to stay home or have been laid off as a result of the pandemic3​​ Statistics Indonesia data​​ also​​ displays that out of the country’s employees of 133.56 million, 7.05 million are unemployed and more than 55 percent of those employed work in the informal sector,​​ this action surely not good news in economic also in​​ manpower viewpoint.​​ Also,​​ news came from government policy​​ viewpoint that is​​ inmate’s​​ assimilation and integration​​ the government stated that this policy is important due to low quality of prison, overcrowded also lack of heath facility in prison across Indonesia so​​ it’s​​ impossible to doing social distancing program to prevent the spread of viruses in prison.

 In the social life this​​ situation linked into increased crime rates in several location in Indonesia, society assumed that by releasing the inmate into the community in such​​ an​​ unstable condition is bad government idea, and​​ made​​ the condition that already uncertain​​ worse than before, the​​ data​​ form​​ Indonesian National Police (Polri) has collected data that crime rates​​ increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, an increase is around 19 percent from the pre-pandemic period stated by​​ National Police Headquarters Karopenmas, Brigjen. Argo Yuwono.4​​ These cases include crime, violations,​​ interference​​ and disasters. But most are the discovery of​​ dead body​​ and suicide.​​ This trend is recurring​​ every year during holidays or from Ramadan until Eid.​​ 

This happen because​​ of increasing needs​​ for Eid​​ motives also vary from fraud, robbery and other things, but this year is quite unique where crime rates is increased​​ far​​ before Ramadan begins​​ some people assumed that this condition begin after government announce for social distancing ​​ as stated before that many of them that had been laid off is informal sector like online taxi,​​ and many more​​ and​​ they who had been laid off​​ confused how they find money for eat, and living need but we still cannot link this condition into increase in crime rates​​ since we did not receive strong evidence on this issue. In different location prove otherwise,​​ in Cirebon district, West Java.​​ During the Covid-19 pandemic the crime rate actually declined from the previous period to around 40 percent the rate of decline. This was allegedly due to the successful integration of the National Police and the TNI​​ (Indonesian national army)​​ which persuasively implemented social restrictions​​ or social distancing​​ set by the local district government.

 The​​ regulation​​ for​​ assimilation and integration​​ essentially​​ coming from​​ UN High Commissioner for Human Rights​​ (UNHRC)​​ for respond prisoner fate during pandemic in particular developing country such as Indonesia​​ to​​ called on governments to take​​ crucial​​ action to protect the health and safety of​​ inmates​​ and other closed facilities, as part of overall efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. And the high commissioner also urged governments and authorities to work​​ quickly to reduce the number of people in detention,​​ stating​​ several countries have already undertaken some positive actions. Authorities should observe ways to release those particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, among them older detainees and those who are sick, as well as low-risk offenders.5​​ And​​ For those in detention, the State has a particular duty to protect inmates,​​ physical and mental health and well-being, as set out by the UN​​ Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.6​​ So,​​ this reason​​ is​​ strong enough for government to drafting policy about​​ term of giving assimilation and integration rights for prisoners and juvenile in the prevention of and distribution of Covid-19 outbreaks​​ at​​ Regulation of the Minister of Justice and Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia​​ No. 10, 2020 about term of giving assimilation and integration rights for prisoner and children in the prevention and countermeasures of Covid-19 spreads.

At glance inmate’s assimilation means​​ process of nurturing Prisoners and​​ Juvenile​​ by blending Prisoners and​​ Juvenile​​ in the​​ society​​ but essentially assimilation and integration not mean inmates purely to be free man,​​ but rather an institutionalized training program by integrating prisoners with the community which is then interpreted with the prisoner release,​​ ​​ in this regulation also stated that not all detention all capable for assimilation and integration program​​ in article 2 Ministry of Law and Human Right Policy No. 10, 2020​​ detailed​​ who prisoners can be given assimilation are

  • Have a​​ good behavior proven by not​​ undergo​​ disciplinary action within the last 6 (six) months

  • active participate in the coaching program well; and

  • has served ½ (one-half) of the criminal period.

Consequently,​​ not all​​ inmates​​ are capable of assimilation and integration program,​​ since this regulation released the authorities have granted more than​​ 30,000​​ prisoners and still keep going until​​ Covid-19's emergency status was withdrew by the government.7​​ And the procedures for release the inmates into society is not pimple as expected, before being released inmates​​ should participate in​​ personality and spiritual guidance programs in accordance with their respective religions to increase the faith of inmates​​ and hopefully​​ has a good personality after being released,​​ after that they will be given a medical check-up and the​​ officer​​ will give them instructions​​ also after being released the behavior of​​ ex-prisoner.​​ for prisoners who do not​​ eligible​​ the qualifications to join the integration program​​ the officer still protects from the virus by​​ limiting family visits, switching them online using video calls,​​ also installed handwashing facilities and disinfectant chambers and distributed hand sanitizers to the inmates.

The​​ society wants this policy implement with accordance with existing provisions, concerning the rule for implementation of the rights of inmates mandated in UU No. 12 of 1995 concerning corrections and based on PP No. 32 of 1999 on the terms and​​ Procedures for Citizens Rights Patronage Correctional​​ jo. PP No. 28 of 2006 regarding amendment to​​ PP No. 32 of 1999​​ on the Terms and Procedures for Citizens Rights Patronage of Corrections and​​ Regulation of the Minister of Justice and Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia No:​​ M.01.PK.04-10 of 2007 on the Terms and Procedures for Assimilation, Parole, Leave By the​​ Free​​ and Conditional Leaves.8​​ Also​​ term of giving assimilation and integration rights for prisoners and juvenile in the prevention of and distribution of Covid-19 outbreaks​​ at​​ Regulation of the Minister of Justice and Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia​​ No. 10, 2020 in​​ particulars.

 The society also​​ ordered​​ government to provide transparency data​​ due to Covid-19 data such as infected people, people under surveillance, dead people and the person was already tested. so, the society​​ do not think that this pandemic is very bad or even very​​ common disease just give the truth to society​​ so that the​​ society​​ in responding to this situation remains​​ based on​​ reality​​ not overreact and make the situation worsening because of mass panic, because​​ One crucial reason for this problematic pandemic management related to the lack of data transparency and active misinformation about the nature of this pandemic.​​ Recently the government has been trying to portray that COVID-19 issue is a normal situation that largely manageable. The key to maintain this perception is deliberate efforts from the government to filter the information allowed to be presented to the public.9​​ But this formula is not totally right because it can make society awareness almost no present,​​ and this can endanger the​​ society.

 With the brief explanation​​ can concluded that this program is wise enough for government to release partly inmates who eligible into community as answer to protect prisoners’ fate during pandemic. And its relation with​​ increased crime because of this policy​​ is not proven since just 135 Prisoners​​ who were released early in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, are back to committing crimes.10​​ And​​ most of the felonies committed by the​​ detainees were theft, robbery and vehicle theft.​​ Its just under 5 percent as expected​​ before,​​ there remains the​​ also​​ possibility to become a recidivist.​​ Our​​ hope for the government​​ is always​​ show data transparently to the public so that the public is not wrong in analyzing information that can lead to many problems in the future including criminal matters.


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