Wayan Sudirta: Don't Put Drug Addicts Behind Bars, Put Them on Rehab
Member of the House Commission on Law and Security I Wayan Sudirta speaks during a working meeting with the Head of National Anti-Narcotics Agency (BNN) Pol. Comm. General Dr. Petrus Reinhard Golose and other officials at the Parliament Complex, Senayan, Jakarta, Tuesday (29/3/2022). Photo: Jaka/Man
In response to the large number of drug addicts in correctional facilities, Member of House Commission III on Law and Security I Wayan Sudirta proposed to the National Anti-Narcotics Agency (BNN) that drug addicts be not imprisoned, but rather, rehabilitated.
“If I may exercise my rights as a member of Commission III, I would recommend rehabilitation for all drug addicts, under no conditions, as long as they are users. But in the case of dealers, even death sentence is acceptable,” suggested Sudirta in a working meeting between Commission III and the Head of BNN Pol. Comm. General Dr. Petrus Reinhard Golose and other officials at the Parliament Complex, Senayan, Jakarta, Tuesday (29/3/2022). According to him, rehabilitation may play a strategic role, especially considering the alarming occupancy rate of correctional facilities.
According to the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician, drug addicts make up 50 percent of total correctional facility inmates. "If I'm not mistaken, and the data may vary, but on average more than 50 percent of inmates are drug addicts. If we narrow it down, in the special crimes category, it turns out 96 percent of these (cases) are drug related. And we can't turn a blind eye on the overcrowding caused by drug related convicts," he said.
Sudirta is well aware of the budget implications that come with rehabilitation. However, he believes that it can be circumvented by reallocation of correctional facility's budget. "My estimate is that it (rehabilitation) would cost Rp1.8 trillion, out of the Rp3 trillion budget for correctional facilities. I think we can develop some incredible facilities for this purpose. Not to mention some hospitals are up for the challenge, too. What challenge, you might ask? It's to perform rehabilitation at their own expense. So why don't we go all the way with the rehabilitation plan?" he said amusingly.
The Balinese legislator also said he would continue bringing up the plan in future hearings as part of his responsibilities as a Member of Commission III as long as the rehabilitation plan for drug addicts has not been met with success. Sudirta also expressed his hopes for the rehabilitation program to be the champion of drug abuse management system.
“We can't keep putting youth behind bars. They need to be rehabilitated, to be treated. No research has ever showed that imprisonment makes drug addicts better. But with rehabilitation, no matter how minor it might be, you can be optimistic. Especially when rehabilitation includes not only residential treatments at hospitals, but also outpatient treatments. Drug users are just victims. The real bad guys are the dealers," Sudirta concluded. (we/sf/agl)