From punitive to restorative — this is the paradigm shift being put into practice by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).
Although there is a necessity to punish wrongdoers, it is also necessary to restore the moral, emotional, and psychomotor aspect of the person, hence the turnaround in the jail system.
One way that the BJMP addresses this need is through its Therapeutic Community Modality Program (TCMP) which looks into the potential of an inmate and uses this latent potential into practical use.
According to J/Csupt Doris Remedios Dorigo, deputy chief for operations of the BJMP, during government media’s regular tv/radio program “Talking Points,” skills trainings and seminars that would help hone and introduce new skills are given to the inmates which would aide them when they go back to the “outside world,” she added.
The program, with the use of an assessment tool, checks the capabilities of inmates: technical skills, non-skills, administrative potential, and leadership skills — all tapped and used in office or maintenance work.
Through this program, prisoners realize the skills that they never knew they possess and at the same time, the program gives them a feeling of worthiness — something most of prisoners haven’t felt during their time outside jail.
The TCMP is in line with the restorative justice model that moves beyond punishment for wrongdoings committed by a person. The model sees and addresses the human side of justice which corrects and improves. Rather than measuring how much punishment must be inflicted, restorative justice measures how many harms are repaired and prevented.