ID: COV-011 03 Nov 2020

National Responses for Persons Deprived of Liberty during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Philippines

The main purpose of this paper is to review the national responses for persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the Philippines. The researcher discusses the major responses that have been carried out such as easing the rules on parole grant and executive clemency, providing human consideration to the vulnerable segments, and improving the corrections facilities health management. These responses are expected to decrease the growth of virus infection inside the corrections facilities, protect the condition especially of the vulnerable segments, and ensure the overall safety of the community. This paper specifically recommends for the need to expand the virtualization of judiciary functions to the provincial zones, place the release of the vulnerable segments in priority order, and technically improve the health management of corrections. However, as current responses may just represent temporary measures due to the crisis, this paper further urges for responses that will eventually lead to long-term decongestion of corrections facilities or reduction of the perennially high prison population of the country. (COV-011)

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