Inmates Welfare and Development

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Chapter 1
THE RESEARCH PROBLEM

Introduction

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology envisions itself as a dynamic institution highly regarded for its sustained humane safekeeping and development of inmates. This is indeed a very noble vision which has guided the institution over the last 20 years. With this, the Bureau aims to enhance public safety by providing humane safekeeping and development of inmates.

In line with the vision, the Bureau endeavors to formulate policies and guidelines in the administration of all district, city and municipal jails nationwide, provide for the basic needs of inmates, and conduct activities for the development of inmates to ultimately improve their living conditions in accordance with the accepted standards set by the United Nations.

Our Constitution provides that any person accused of committing a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Thus, a person charged with a crime should not be denied of his freedom to choose and live at par with other innocent people who are not incarcerated, unless there is a good reason. In connection to this, the government is a party to several Geneva Conventions such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to name a few. Our government’s formal commitment to principles of human rights and international humanitarian law has been translated into various local laws and foremost is the 1987 Philippine Constitution which has often been referred to as the Human Rights Constitution. However, in spite of all these international and local laws, the government is still unable to comply with its obligations because of very limited resources. As a result, most of our jails are unpleasant and dehumanizing. It dwells stress, boredom and can even harm the individuals and their visiting families in countless ways.

It is therefore a great challenge on the part of the administration of the BJMP to efficiently and effectively utilize its resources in the implementation of its mandate.

And to address the increasing and recurring problems inside detention facilities not to mention the different personalities and varied needs of inmates, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology has intensified the implementation of the Inmates Welfare and Development Program.

Theoretical Framework

This study is anchored on the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs which states that if motivation is driven by the existence of unsatisfied needs, then it is worthwhile for a manager to understand which needs are more important for every individual under his/her management. In this regard, Abraham Maslow developed a model in which basic, low-level needs such as physiological requirements and safety must be satisfied before higher-level needs such as self-fulfillment are pursued. In this hierarchical model, when a need is mostly satisfied, it no longer motivates and the next higher need takes its place.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is shown in the following diagram:

Figure 1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
The Physiological Needs are those required to sustain life, such as air, water, nourishment, and sleep. According to Maslow’s theory, if such needs are not satisfied then one’s motivation will arise from the quest to satisfy them. Higher needs such as social needs and esteem are not felt until one has met the needs basic to one’s bodily functioning. For the Safety Need, once physiological needs are met, one’s attention turns to safety and security in order to be free from the threat of physical and emotional harm. Such needs might be fulfilled by living in a safe area, medical insurance, job security and financial reserves. According to Maslow’s hierarchy, if a person feels that he or she is harm’s way, higher needs will not receive much attention. Then once a person has met the lower level of physiological and safety needs, higher level needs become...
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