Inmates in an Indonesian prison. (Antara Photo)

Police to Increase Patrols Fearing Crime Spike After 38,000 Prisoners Are Released


APRIL 20, 2020

Jakarta. The National Police will carry out more street patrols and raids in anticipation of rising crimes after the Justice and Human Rights Ministry released more than 38,000 prisoners this month to prevent Covid-19 outbreaks inside Indonesia's overcrowded jails.  

The ministry passed a decree for the prisoner release on April 2 and since then has released 38,822 prisoners on parole.

"The decision might present us with a new problem. It would be difficult for these prisoners to find jobs during the pandemic," Comr. Gen. Agus Andrianto, the head of the National Police's Security Preservation Agency (Baharkam), said in a statement.   

Reports emerged in the past week that some of the paroled convicts have been re-arrested after committing violent crimes.

To maintain public order and security, the National Police have ordered preemptive and preventive measures to avoid a surge in street crimes.

Agus said more patrols and raids will be carried out in vulnerable areas where the released prisoners are freely assimilating.

The police will also cooperate with local administrators – from urban hamlet (RW) and neighborhood unit (RT) heads to prison wardens – in areas where the prisoners have been released.

"The prison wardens will help us map out the areas where the prisoners were released and are now living. Then we will work with the RT and RW heads to monitor them and assist them if necessary," Agus said.

Agus said police officers have been given the order to take firm actions against released prisoners who endanger the public.