At the Maximum
The New Bilibid Prison (NBP) is the national penitentiary in the Philippines operated by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor). Since 1941, The NBP houses at an estimate 14,000 inmates despite having a capacity of only 9,000. According to the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), “Crimes against persons, such as murder, homicide, parricide, continue to dominate the offense profile, accounts for 50% of the cases of national prisoners.”
Visiting the NBP is always a pleasant experience for me. It feels like a small town in the countryside with not a lot of women. A real community within a community.
From my experience visiting the Maximum security prison, I have encountered a lot of inmates who make the most out of their time inside the facility by joining different rehabilitation programs. Programs such as sports, counseling, creative writing classes, arts and crafts, religious activities and skills training help them pass time, have some income and for some, try to live life to the fullest.
Sports facilities such as an olympic outdoor tennis court, basketball court, places of worship, park with playground, zoo and a library to name a few. It is reported that 60% of the inmates who were released go back inside prison because of a better and structured life inside prison as opposed to life outside where it is difficult to get jobs and live a normal life. Immersing in the NBP also made me realize that if communities outside the prison only provide livelihood, basic commodities and education to its citizens, there would be less criminals and more skilled laborers.