Conflict resolution prison style by alicejenny

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                                                                                  Conflict resolution,
                                                                                     prison style
Inmates at the Kedung Pane prison in Semarang, Central Java, are among those attending workshops run by three non-governmental groups to teach conflict resolution and negotiation skills. ST PHOTOS: WAHYUDI SOERIAATMADJA



       Inmates being taught how to resolve disputes through dialogue instead of violence
  BY WAHYUDI SOERIAATMADJA                  “We should get more as we             and started to protest.                      The game was just one of many         would be more scared of the              ing the maximum-security Nu-
  INDONESIA CORRESPONDENT                have been here longer and we are            This was no post-robbery               components of a workshop to              guards, believing they have no           sakambangan facility off the coast
                                         from the stronger group,” said a         scene, however, and the men were          teach conflict resolution and nego-      rights, so we included a section in      of Central Java.
                                         dark-skinned, bearded inmate             not carrying out an illegal act.          tiation skills to more than 20 in-       the module on teaching them their            They will hold their eighth and
SEMARANG (Central Java): On a                                                                                               mates.                                   rights in prison,” said Mr Agus          last workshop later this month at
sunny morning recently at the Ke-        who was surrounded by six oth-           Rather, they were engaged in a
                                                                                                                               Kedung Pane prison, a                 Nahrowi, a trainer from Search           a prison in Palu, Central Sulawesi,
dung Pane prison, two scruffy            ers.                                     role-playing game that aimed to           45-minute drive from the city, has       for Common Ground.                       which houses many convicts in-
groups of men negotiated over               Some of the other men nodded,         teach them to use dialogue – and          890 inmates, including burglars,            Another trainer, Mr Wakhit            volved in religion-based violence
how to split a recent haul of cash.      while others shook their heads           not violence – to resolve disputes.       drug dealers and five men convict-       Hasim from Search for Common             that rocked the area some years
                                                                                                                            ed for their involvement in the          Ground, said they had tried to           back.
                                                                                                                            2002 and 2005 Bali bombings.             strike a balance between promot-             So far, inmates appear to have
                                                                                                                               The sessions, run by three            ing positive values and under-           taken to the workshops.
                                                                                                                            non-governmental groups –                standing the gritty reality of pris-         Abdul Ghoni, 42, who is serv-
                                                                                                                            Search for Common Ground, the            on life.                                 ing a life sentence at Kedung Pane
                                                                                                                            Institute of International Peace            For example, they acknow-             prison for packaging the explo-
                                                                                                                            Building and the Legal Aid Insti-        ledged the existence of gangs in In-     sives used in the 2002 Bali bomb-
                                                                                                                            tute – lasted five days.                 donesian prisons, although Ke-           ing, had attended the workshop as
                                                                                                                               The modules included games            dung Pane’s chief supervisor             a way to “kill boredom”.
                                                                                                                            and PowerPoint presentations on          Raden Hadiwismobudi told The                 “But it is different and unique.
                                                                                                                            how to think positively, with train-     Straits Times that “extortion and        I guess I would try to apply it,” he
                                                                                                                            ers also talking about the different     gangs do not exist in this facility”.    said.
                                                                                                                            religions in Indonesia and persuad-         Like in many other prisons                Abdul Aziz, 34, who is serving
                                                                                                                            ing the inmates that respecting          round the world, newcomers here          an eight-year sentence for design-
                                                                                                                            the different beliefs would not be       often have to go through an induc-       ing a website used by former ter-
                                                                                                                            seen as compromising one’s own           tion process, paying bribes of say,      rorist ringleader Noordin Top to
                                                                                                                            faith.                                   1 million rupiah (S$153) to win the      broadcast a message after the
                                                                                                                               Developed by a United States          approval and protection of senior        2005 Bali bombing, agreed.
                                                                                                                            company and used at prisons              inmates. These proceeds are some-            “The sessions have made me re-
                                                                                                                            there, the programme had been            times shared between prison              alise that there are people with dif-
                                                                                                                                              adapted to Indo-       guards and inmates.                      ferent ideologies and they should
                                                                                                                                               nesia’s needs,           So, even while Mr Wakhit and          be respected,” he said.
                                                                                                                                               with input from       his colleagues stressed that “pro-           And it is not just the inmates
                                                                                                                                               the govern-           tection fee” extortion and split-        who have been learning about con-
                                                                                                                                               ment, analysts        ting the proceeds were wrong,            flict resolution.
                                                                                                                                              and the public.        they chose to use the real-life prac-        Some 200m away in a separate
                                                                                                                                                      “One sug-      tices as examples of how dialogue        hall, prison guards were also un-
                                                                                                                                                    gestion ana-     could help two groups forge a            dergoing training – in their case,
                                                                                                                                                     lysts gave      greater understanding.                   to learn more productive ways of
                                                                                                                                                      was that          Since the beginning of the year,      dealing with uncooperative in-
                                                                                                                                                      prisoners      he and four other trainers have          mates.
                                                                                                                                                      here           gone to six other prisons, includ-           “Prison guards tend to use
                                                                                                                                                                                                              threats – transfer to an isolation
                                                                                                                                                                                                              cell, a different prison or no pa-
                                                                                                                                                     “The sessions have made me realise that                  role – to get inmates to behave,”
                                                                                                                                                     there are people with different ideologies               noted Mr Nurkholis Hidayat, a
                                                                                                                                                                                                              trainer from the Legal Aid Insti-
                                                                                                                                                     and they should be respected.”                           tute.
                                                                                                                                                     Abdul Aziz (left), who is serving an eight-year              “That is not good. Persuasion
                                                                                                                                                     sentence for designing a website used by former          and negotiation is a better ap-
                                                                                                                                                     terrorist ringleader Noordin Top                         proach.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                              wahyudis@sph.com.sg




                                                                                                                            Terrorists’ life behind bars
                                                                                                                            SEMARANG (Central Java): Ten                “My area of operations at that         that Kedung Pane prison is over-
                                                                                                                            years ago, Sarjio, 39, was a cook        time was the Philippines, not In-         crowded, and cells meant for
                                                                                                                            at a militant camp for the Moro Is-      donesia. I was just in Indonesia as       three men are already being used
                                                                                                                            lamic Liberation Front in the            a guest of Amrozi, so I did what          to house six or seven inmates.
                                                                                                                            Philippines.                             he told me to do,” said Sarjio.               “We get greater privacy and
                                                                                                                                In 2002, however, he went               His fellow inmate, Abdul Gho-          it’s cleaner,” said Abdul Aziz, 34,
                                                                                                                            from mixing spices to mixing ex-         ni, who packaged the explosives           who created a website used by ter-
                                                                                                                            plosives that were eventually            used in the attack, however, feels        ror leader Noordin Top to broad-
                                                                                                                            used for the bombing of tourist          remorse for his deed.                     cast a statement after the 2005 Ba-
                                                                                                                            nightspots in Bali in October that          He had fasted for 60 days, he          li bombing. “We don’t have to
                                                                                                                            killed more than 200.                    said, after the bombing.                  compete with each other when
                                                                                                                                It earned the former cook a life        “That was after I found out            the meals arrive.”
                                                                                                                            sentence, which he is now serv-          that the bombs killed innocent                But some say that keeping ter-
                                                                                                                            ing out at the Kedung Pane pris-         people,” said the 42-year-old,            rorist convicts separate from oth-
                                                                                                                            on.                                      who is also serving a life sen-           er convicts has not always
                                                                                                                                Sarjio, who also goes by the         tence.                                    worked. Kept in the same block,
                                                                                                                            name Sawad, said he knew his ac-            Both men are now appealing to          they are occasionally allowed to
                                                                                                                            tions had taken innocent lives.          the government to reduce their            mingle among themselves, thus
                                                                                                                            But he claimed he was just follow-       sentences to 20 years.                    giving them a chance to discuss
                                                                                                                            ing the orders of a key planner of          Life in prison is generally bet-       radical ideas.
                                                                                                                            the bombings, Amrozi Nurhasy-            ter for terrorist convicts than it is         Some have also managed to
                                                                                                                            im, who bought the explosives            for regular prisoners because the         bribe the prison guards to allow
                                                                                                                            and a minivan to transport them          former get individual cells – so as       them to keep mobile phones,
                                                                                                                            to Bali.                                 to reduce the chances of them             which they use to communicate
                                                                                                                                Amrozi was executed by a fir-        “radicalising” others.                    with the outside world.
                                                                                                                            ing squad in November 2008.                 It is a rare “privilege”, given        WAHYUDI SOERIAATMADJA

								
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