15 January 2010

Special Privileges in Indonesian Prisons...

Sometimes it pays to keep things quiet, particularly if you are enjoying the benefits of paying a little extra for better prison living conditions and other special privileges that are not being enjoyed by the masses.

Artalyta Suryani and a couple of other inmates of the Pondok Bambu Women's Prison in East Jakarta were discovered to be enjoying special privileges and living conditions which they were supposedly self-funding. However, that game came to a rather abrupt end when the Minister of Law and Human Rights, Patrialis Akbar, determined through his Department to transfer Suryani, and two others, Aling and Darmawati, to the women's prison at Tangerang where they will share a 2.5m x 3m cell with another woman.

The days of flat screen televisions, karaoke machines, refrigerators, spa treatments, and the like are over, at least for the foreseeable future for these women.

The moral of this story might simply be that sometimes it is better not to talk about the advantages one enjoys during their incarceration for the fear of losing those privileges permanently and much more quickly than they took to acquire in the first place.

The Corby family and her supporters are quick to note that they have partaken of the "system" in order to facilitate better conditions for Schapelle during her incarceration in Kerobokan prison in Bali. The photos and videos of Schapelle's living quarters show a spartan but relatively clean existence. Nevertheless, maybe it might not be in Schapelle's best interests to wage a very public media campaign regarding the ability to purchase better conditions and favours.

Perhaps Suryani and her fellow formerly 'lucky' prisoners wish that they had kept a lid on the luxuries that they were enjoying.

Just a thought.

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