by Irma A. Guhit
“Kasanggayahan Inmates Break 2011” in time for the celebration of the provincial foundation anniversary and cultural festivity last week.
Provincial jail warden Josefina Lacdang of the SPJ, who has been always controversial in her ways more than one especially in trying to institute reforms inside the jail, once more proved to those critics who watched the selected 70 inmates performed several entertainment numbers from songs, dances, acrobats and synchronized body calisthenics the other day giving those spectators a glimpse that inmates are never short of talent and skills.
Lacdang said that she was inspired by the performance of inmates in Cebu City who now are famous in the Utube because of what they have shown in a mass dance and calisthenics presentation and should serve as a motivation to those in charge of prisons in the Philippines.
Lacdang also explained that the SPJ has now a library where these inmates can read and find time to hone their skills academically aside from the skills for livelihood development provided to them by the SPJ through the assistance of the provincial government and other non-governmental organizations providing them training.
“Inmates should also be given the chance to enjoy life even in incarceration. and the reforms I instituted is with a humane policy especially in treating women inmates and those who are a bit young,” according to Lacdang.
The activity according to Lacdang was also suggested to her by no less than Governor Raul R. Lee that started from a choral group within the prison so that whenever mass is officiated the inmates’choir will be the one to sing in the mass.
She has also instituted inside the SPJ a “Lupon” where certain problems within can be easily settled by inmates within themselves and that more understanding can be achieved and jailbreaks be avoided.
“The”Kasanggayahan Inmates Break” is the first activity thought of the inmates to also show people that they can be part of the Kasanggayahan activity and that inmates should not be treated as if they no longer are part of society ,” Rommel Lanuza one of the inmates said in an interview.
“The stigma of being inmates has been so deep that sometimes seeing them is being feared ,” according to Lanuza.
“Major Lacdang and the governor have provided the inmates here the chance to redeem themselves. In fact here in the SPJ we are visited by priests and pastors and we accord 5 hours praying time each week together,” Lanuza expressed.
“We have really practiced almost everyday and have chosen well those who would like to perform,”Lanuza,said when interviewed after their performance.
“This first Kasanggayahan Inmates Break was thought of by the inmates themselves so that they would feel appreciated too,” Lacdang said.
“Here the inmates are provided the opportunity of developing themselves and they are made to realize that the prison is not a confinement but a rehabilitation where they should realize what they have committed against society and redeem themselves so that when given the chance after serving their term they are ready to be mainstreamed”, according to Lacdang. (MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)