Bali’s Kerobokan Prison severely overcrowded, 25 prisoners relocated to Bangli

Prisoners look from a tower during the riot at Kerobokan prison in Bali. Photo: AFP (2012)

With some serious overcrowding at Bali’s notorious Kerobokan Prison, a total of 25 inmates were made to ‘check out’ of the Hotel K and were transferred to another prison on the island.

The prisoners were relocated to Bangli Narcotics Prison on the morning of May 5.

All 25 are serving time over drug cases, confirmed Bali prison warden, Tonny Nainggolan.

“The transfer of the prisoners is because of a an overcapacity issue. Now 1,318 people are incarcerated, when the actual capacity is 296,” Nainggolan said, as quoted by Tribun Bali.

So the reduction of 25 prisoners still very much leaves Kerobokan at overcapacity. The prison has been dangerously overcrowded and understaffed for years. The government has proposed the facility itself move with prospective new sites in Nusa Penida or Suwung, but it’s been a lot of talk and no action.

The packed prison certainly is a security concern given its location right in the middle of town and we’ve seen things erupt, like the deadly brawl that broke out in and around the facility in 2015. Not to mention, the prison’s central role in the Bali drug trade.

Bangli was selected to receive the 25 prisoners last week because it is not yet full.

“The prison in Bangli isn’t yet considered overcapacity, so we moved the 25 prisoners there. Bangli is for narcotics prisoners,” Nainggolan added.

The 25 prisoners transferred were all Indonesian—no foreigners were included in the relocation, according to the warden.

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