A prisoner is a person who is under the custody of lawful authority. A person, who by a decision issued by a court, may be deprived of his liberty or freedom.
A prisoner is any person detained/confined in jail or prison for the commission of a criminal offense or convicted and serving in a penal institution.
A person committed to jail or prison by a competent authority for any of the following reasons:
To serve a sentence after conviction
(Brief Definition) either a prisoner or detainee confined in jail.
(As defined in the Bureau of Corrections Operating Manual) refers to a national prisoner or one sentenced by the court to serve a maximum term of imprisonment or more than three years or to a fine of more than one thousand pesos or regardless of the length of the sentence imposed by the court, to one sentenced for violation of the Customs Law or other laws within the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Customs of enforceable by it, or violation of immigration and election laws; or to one sentenced to serve two or more prison sentences in the aggregate exceeding the period of three years, whether or not he has appealed, it shall include a person committed to the Bureau by a court or competent authority for safekeeping or similar purpose. Unless otherwise indicated, “inmate” shall also refer to a “detainee”
Person Deprived of Liberty
Refers to a detainee, inmate, or prisoner, or other person under confinement or custody in any other manner. However, in order to prevent labeling, branding, or shaming by the use of these or other derogatory words, the term “prisoner” has been replaced by this new and neutral phrase.
General Classification of Prisoners Detention Prisoners – those detained for investigation, preliminary hearing, or awaiting trial. A detainee in a lock up jail. They are prisoners under the jurisdiction of courts.
Also known as “Detainee”, person who is confined in prison pending preliminary investigation, trial or appeal; or upon legal process issued by the competent authority.
A person accused before a court or competent authority who is temporarily confined in jail while undergoing investigation, awaiting final judgment.
Sentenced Prisoners – offenders who are committed to the jail or prison in order to serve their sentence after final conviction by a competent court. They are prisoners under the jurisdiction of penal institutions.
Prisoners who are on Safekeeping – includes non-criminal offenders who are detained in order to protect the community against their harmful behavior.
Mentally deranged individuals
Safekeeping – the temporary custody of a person for his own protection, safety, or care, and/or his security from harm, injury or danger for the liability he has committed.
JAIL VERSUS PRISON
Accept inmates who committed minor offense
Accept inmates who committed major offense
Date of Creation
January 2, 1991
November 1, 1905
Accepts detainees and convicts with 3 years of imprisonment
Accepts offenders with above 3 years imprisonment
Controls all City, Municipal, and District Jails
Supervised all seven insular prisons in the country
Uniform of Inmates
Max – Tangerine
Med – Blue
Min - Brown
Classification of Sentenced Prisoners Insular or National Prisoners – those sentenced to suffer a term of sentence of three years and one day to life imprisonment. Those sentenced to suffer a term of imprisonment cited above but appealed the judgment and unable to file a bond their temporary liberty.
Provincial Prisoners – those sentenced to suffer a term of imprisonment from six months and one day to three years or a fine not more than one thousand pesos or both. Those detained therein waiting for preliminary investigation of their cases cognizable by the RTC.
Provincial Jail (1910) – under the office of the Governor. Where the imposable penalty for the crime committed is more than six months but not more than three years and the same was committed within the municipality, the offender must serve his or her sentence in the Provincial Jail. Where the penalty exceeds three years, the offender shall serve his or her sentence in the penal institutions of the Bureau of Corrections.
City Prisoners – those sentenced to suffer a term of imprisonment from one day to three years or a fine of not more than one thousand pesos or both. Those detained therein whose cases are filed the MTC. Those detained therein whose cases are cognizable by the RTC and under Preliminary Investigation. Those ‘confined in Municipal Jails to serve an imprisonment from one day to six months. Those detained therein whose trials of their cases are pending with the MTC.
Classification of Prisoners According to Degree of Security Super Maximum Security Prisoners (inapplicable to the Philippine Setting) – a special group of prisoners composed of incorrigible, intractable, and highly dangerous persons who are the source of the constant disturbances even in maximum security prison. They wear orange color of uniform.
Maximum Security Prisoner – the group of prisoners whose escape could be dangerous to the public or to the security of the state.
It consists of constant troublemakers but not as dangerous as the super maximum security prisoners. Their movements are restricted and they are not allowed to work outside the institution but rather assigned to industrial shops with in the prison compound.
They are confined at the maximum security prison (NBP Main Building); they wear orange color of uniform.
Prisoners includes those sentenced to serve sentence twenty years or more, or those whose sentenced are under the review of the Supreme Court, and offenders who are criminally insane, having severe personality, or emotional disorders that make them dangerous to fellow offenders of staff members.
Medium Security Prisoners – those who cannot be trusted in open conditions and pose lesser danger than maximum security prisoners in case they escape.
It consists of groups of prisoners who may be allowed to work outside the fence or walls of the penal institution under guards or with escorts.
They occupy the medium security prison (Camp Sampaguita) and they wear blue color of uniform. Generally, they are employed as agricultural workers.
It includes prisoners whose minimum sentence is less than twenty years and life sentenced prisoners who served at least ten years inside a maximum security prison.
Minimum Security Prisoners – a group of prisoners who can reasonably trusted to serve sentence under “open conditions”
This group includes prisoners who can be trusted to report to their assignments without the presence of guards.
They occupy the minimum security prison (Camp Bukang Liwayway) and wear brown color uniform.
Classification of Inmates as to Privileges 3rd Class – committed for three or more time as sentenced prisoner.
2nd Class – newly arrived inmate, demoted from 1st class or promoted from 3rd class.
1st Class – known for character and credit for work while in detention or one promoted from 2nd class.
Colonist – after one year, after being promoted from 1st class who served with good conduct the 1/5 of his maximum sentence or served 7 years of his life sentence.
Privileges of a Colonist:
Automatic commutation to thirty years of life imprisonment
Deduction of five days / month
Wear civilian clothes
Can live with his family
Subsidy from the Government
Use of Prison Facilities
Origin of the Word Prison
The word prison was derived from the Greco-Roman word PRESIDIO
PRE means BEFORE and SIDIO means INSIDE. It is synonymous to a fenced-cave or dungeon.
The Philippine Prison System
The Philippine prison system is patterned after the Federal Bureau of Prisons of the United States. It is a Bureau within the Department of Justice.
Bureau of Corrections
Bureau of Prisons was created under the Reorganization Act of 1905 (Act No. 1407 dated November 1, 1905) as an agency under the Department of Commerce and Police.
Bureau of Prisons was renamed Bureau of Corrections under Executive Order 292 (Administrative Code) passed during the Cory Aquino Administration; States that the head of the Bureau of Corrections is the Director of Prisons who is appointed by the President of the Philippines with the Commission of Appointments.
RA 10575 – also known as the “Act of Strengthening the Bureau of Corrections and Providing Funds Therefore” also known as the BUCOR Law of 2013.
The Bureau of Corrections has general supervision and control of all seven national / insular prisons / penitentiaries. It is charged with the safekeeping of all Insular Prisoners confined therein or committed to the custody of the Bureau.
BP 28 – law that change the name penal colony to penal farm.
The Seven Operating Correctional Facilities in the Philippines
Prior to the establishment of Bilibid Prison, prisoners were confined in jails under the jurisdiction of Commandancias where law enforcement units were stationed. Commandancias were established in practically every province of the country.
Bilibid Prisons Old Bilibid Prison (Carcel y Presidio Correctional) – the main insular penitentiary during the Spanish regime. This was constructed in 1847 and was formally inaugurated in 1865 by virtue of the Royal Decree of the Spanish Crown. This is located at Azcaraga St. (now Recto Avenue) then famous “May Halique Estate” at nearby Central Market at Oroquieta St. This was constructed in radical spokes-of-a-wheel from with tower in the center spoke for easy command and control.
Composed of Two Compounds:
Carcel – 600 Inmate Capacity
Presidio – 527 Inmate Capacity
Commonwealth Act No. 67 was enacted, appropriating one million pesos for the construction of a new National Prison in the Southern suburb of Muntinlupa, Rizal in 1935. The old prison was transformed into a receiving center and a storage facility for farm produce from the colonies.
In 1936, the City of Manila exchanged its Muntinlupa property with that of the Bureau of Prison lot, the Muntinlupa property was intended as a site for Boys Training School, but because it was too far, the City preferred the site of the Old Bilibid Prison, the present site of Manila City Jail (BJMP)
New Bilibid Prison, Muntinlupa City (Approximately 552 Hectares) – this is where the Bureau of Corrections Central Office. The New Bilibid Prison has a capacity of 3,000 Prisoners. Within the complex are the three security camps assisted by as Assistant Superintendent in each Camp.
The Three Security Camps: Maximum Security Compound (Main Building) – for prisoners whose sentence are 20 years and above, life termers of those under capital punishment, those with pending cases, those under disciplinary punishment, those whose cases are on appeal, those under detention, and those that do not fall under medium and minimum security status.
Wears tangerine shirt
Not allowed to do furlough
This type of institution is characterized by thick all enclosure, 18 to 25 feet high. On top of the wall are catwalks along which the guards patrol at night. At corners and strategic places are tower posts manned by heavily armed guards.
Medium Security Compound (Camp Sampaguita) – for prisoners whose sentences are below 20 years (computed from the minimum sentences per classification interpretation) and those classified for colony assignment.
This type of institution is usually enclosed by two layers of wire fence. The inner fence is 12 to 14 feet highwith curb and the outer fence is 8 to 12 feet high. The two fences are form 18 to 20 feet apart. Usually the top portion of the fence is provided with barbed wire.
Minimum Security Compound (Camp Bukang Liwayway) – an open camp with less restrictions and regimentation. This is for prisoners who are 65 years old and above, medically certified as invalids and for those prisoners who have six months or less to serve before they are released from prison.
The Lethal Injection Chamber is also located here.
This type of institution is usually without a fence and if there is one, its purpose is to keep away the civilian population from entering the institution rather than preventing escapes.
The New Bilibid Prison specializes in the industrial type of vocational training. It operates a furniture shop, shoe repairing shop, blacksmith and tinsmith shop, auto mechanics and automobile body building shop, tailoring, electronics, watch-repairing, carpentry, and rattan furniture shop. It is also engaged in track gardening, poultry, piggery and animal husbandry.
2. San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm
Founded by Captain Ramon Blanco in Zamboanga del Sur, a member of the Spanish Royal Army and named the prison facility after his patron saint. This was initially intended for the confinement of Political Prisoners during Spanish era. It was closed during the Spanish-American War and was reopened during the American occupation. It has three facilities (Maximum, Medium, and Minimum). The penal farm was designed to promote agro-industrial activities.
On August 21, 1869, the San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm in Zamboanga City were established to confine Muslim rebels and recalcitrant political prisoners opposed to the Spanish rule. The facility which faced the Jolo Sea had Spanish inspired dormitories and was originally set on a 1,414 hectares sprawling estate.
San Ramon has an average population of 1,200 prisoners
Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm (Luhit), Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan
The Americans established in 1904 the Luhit Penal Settlement (now Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm) on a vast reservation of 28,072 hectares. It would reach a total land area of 40,000 hectares in the late 1950. Located in the westernmost part of the archipelago far from the main town to confine incorrigibles with little hope of rehabilitation, the area was expanded to 41,007 hectares by virtue of Executive Order No. 67 issued by Governor Newton Gilbert on October 15, 1912.
Envisioned by: Governor Luke E. Wright
Ordered by: Governor Forbes
Envisioned as an institution for incorrigible criminals, however, the first contingent of prisoners to be confined revolted against the authorities.
On November 1, 1905 under the Reorganization Act 1407, the policy was changed, instead of putting hardened criminals, well behaved and obedient inmates were sent to the colony.
The farm is predominantly designed for agro-industrial activities. Within its area are four sub-colonies:
Sta. Lucia Sub-Colony
All these colonies are administered by a Penal Supervisor
It administers the Tagumpay Settlement, which is approximately 1,000 hectares, with six hectares homestead lots distributed to inmates who desired to live in the settlement after service of sentence.
First Women’s Prison – opened in Indiana 1873, based on the reformatory model.
Leyte Regional Prison, Abuyog, Southern Leyte
Date Established: January 16, 1973
Under Proclamation No. 1101
It is a prison facility, which has a receiving and process station
It has three security facilities (Maximum, Medium, and Minimum)
Because of its terrain, prison agro-industrial activities could not be fully developed.
Built during Martial Law – Ferdinand Marcos
Fastest growing prison
Max. Capacity – 500 prisoners
Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm, Sablayan, San Jose, Mindoro Occidental
With four Sub-Colonies within the prison compound:
This Penal Farm is intended for Agro-Industrial Activities
Land Area: Approximately 16,408.5 hectares
By Virtue of: Proclamation No. 72
Date Established: September 26, 1954
Principal Product: Rice
Nearest Penal Colony in Manila Davao Prison and Penal Farm, Tagum, Davao del Norte
The Davao Penal Colony was established on January 21, 1932, in accordance with Act No. 3732 and Problamation No. 414, series of 1931. With two sub-colonies:
Administer the Tanglaw Settlement for those inmates who desire to live within the compound
First Headed by: General Paulino Santos
Richest and Highest Income Earner
Biggest Banana and Abaca Plantation
Non-Operational Prisons in the Philippines Fort Bonifacio
A committee report submitted to then President Carlos P. Garcia described Fort Bonifacio, formerly known as Fort William McKinley, as a military reservation located in Taguig, which was established after Americans came to the Philippines. The prison was originally used as a detention center for offenders of US military laws and ordinances.
In 1908 during the American regime, some 100 prisoners were transferred from the Old Bilibid Prison to Corregidor Island to work under military authorities. This move was in accordance with an order from the Department of Instructions, which approved the transfer of inmates so they could assist in maintenance and other operations in the stockade.
The Philippine Legislature during the American regime passed Act No. 1876 providing for the establishment of a prison in Bontoc in Mountain Province. The prison was built for the prisoners of the province and insular prisoners who were members of the Non-Christian Tribes of Mountain Province and Nueva Vizcaya.