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House bill seeks good-conduct time allowance for prisoners

September 2, 2008 10:51am
MANILA, Philippines - A pending bill in the House of Representatives aims to grant good time allowances to prisoners for good conduct through participation in literacy, skills and values development programs.

House Bill 4925 allows any prisoner who has earned or is making satisfactory progress towards earning a post-graduate or college degree, high school or elementary grade diploma.

Prisoners covered also include those working on a degree on a vocational or technical skill or values development certificate, or those who are teaching subjects or courses in the mentioned programs, according to a statement on the House of Representatives website.

The time credit shall not exceed 15 days for every month of study time of the inmate, according to the measure.

House Bill 4925 is a substitute bill for House Bills 3563 filed by Rep. Teodoro Locsin (1st District, Makati City), 1942 and 1943 filed by Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro), and 1453 authored by Rep. Raul Gonzales Jr. (Lone District, Iloilo City).

In approving the proposal, committee members underscored that the granting of good conduct time allowance to prisoners shall enable the State to recognize efforts of prisoners toward self-improvement.

During hearings on the measure, committee members expressed belief that the proposal shall improve the prisoner's literacy and skills levels as well as their moral values.

This will facilitate his or her reintegration into the mainstream of society.

Also, the bill shall also reduce the prisoner's period of incarceration thereby helping decongest the severely overcrowded jails and prevent jailbreaks and riots as prisoners devote their time and energies into productive endeavors.

The proposed measure shall cover prisoners in detention facilities of law enforcement agencies and those prisoners serving sentence by virtue of final judgment in the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

It provides that the chiefs of the BuCor and BJMP shall grant the good conduct time allowance.

The Department of Education and Technical and Education Skills Development shall likewise conduct the development programs for inmates. - GMANews.TV
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