Mon, 17 Sep 2001

Two inmates hospitalized in Cipinang prison brawl

JAKARTA (JP): Two inmates remained in hospital at the Kramatjati Police Hospital on Saturday, after sustaining injuries during a brawl that erupted in the Cipinang penitentiary, East Jakarta, a day earlier.

"They remain in hospital due to their injuries, but everything is under control here," City Police spokesman Snr. Comr. Anton Bachrul Alam told reporters.

A brawl among prisoners broke out on Friday at 9 p.m., which left six people injured sustaining lacerations to their head and body. They were sent to the Kramatjati Hospital and where later that evening taken back to the penitentiary after receiving medical treatment.

Cipinang has had a number of brawls in the last few months among prisoners, with some of the inmates even managing to escape.

The latest incident took place following a personal dispute between two inmates, Gordon Siagian and Ray. The two had already been fighting when penitentiary officers managed to calm them down.

But soon afterwards, another fight erupted, this time involving dozens of inmates who were armed with knives and other sharp weapons.

Eighteen policemen from the Jatinegara police precinct, led by the deputy chief of the precinct Comr. Sutarman, were soon deployed to the jail house to handle the situation.

"When we arrived the fray was over," Sutarman was quoted by Antara as saying, adding that they could not find any sharp weapons.

Makmun, a warden at the Cipinang penitentiary, told The Jakarta Post on Saturday that no additional guards had been deployed in efforts to tighten security in the prison.

"In one shift, there are still about 40 people guarding the place. The number remains the same," he said.

He admitted that many inmates were still in possession of sharp weapons despite the recent joint raid with police and a program offering remission for inmates in exchange of their weapons.

"They could hide them in any place," he commented.

Asked about the plan to install a metal detector at the prison house, he said: "Oh really? I know nothing about it."

Minister of Justice and Human Rights Yusril Ihza Mahendra said on Aug. 27 that a metal detector and an X-ray scanner would be installed in the penitentiary this month to make the jail more secure. The devices would be installed to eliminate the smuggling of weapons and drugs into the prison.

Cipinang houses over 2,200 prisoners even though it only has a capacity to hold 1,789 prisoners.

Yusril had also said that the government would place more personnel to guard the prison and that the police would deploy some Mobile Brigade teams. (emf/sim)