The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights is in the process of recruiting 14,000 new prison guards as part of its efforts to hire a total of 17,586 new employees this year, more than the combined number of new hires by 61 other ministries and state agencies, Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly said on Friday (13/10).
“The Justice and Human Rights Ministry has been trusted by the president and the government to add a huge number of employees — 17,586 — of whom 14,000 will be prison guards,” Yasonna said.
The ministry currently suffers from a severe lack of prison guards, where the ratio of prison guards to inmates is 1:60, according to data from the penitentiary department’s public affairs unit.
The country has seen a rise in prison escapes in recent years due to a lack of guards and an overpopulated prison system. In May, about 450 inmates escaped from a prison in Pekanbaru, Riau, resulting in one of the largest mass prison escapes in the country’s history.
“We have a teleconference with all province representatives […] to make sure that the implementation of the recruitment process can be done correctly, transparently and free of extortion,” the minister said.
Applicants must pass the Computer Assisted Test (CAT) and a competency test, which will test hopeful prison guards on their intellectual and physical prowess.
Indonesia currently operates 477 prisons with a maximum capacity of housing 120,000 people, however, almost 160,000 inmates are incarcerated in the country and around 70,000 detainees live at those facilities at this moment, data from the penitentiary department in October showed.
Besides recruiting new prison guards, the ministry will also hire new employees to be placed at three border posts in Papua, West Kalimantan and East Kalimantan.