- Assisting People Incarcerated in Oversea's Prisons

Correctional institutions in Indonesian deliver service to two parties: prisoners and the public. The form of service given to prisoners is treatment and rehabilitation, which aim to ensure that prisoners can lead independent and law-abiding lives after release. For the public, the service given by correctional institutions is to offer protection and security from wrongdoers.

In Indonesia, most of the planning and implementation of various treatment program in prisons and detention centres is based on policies developed by the Directorate General of Correction. The Directorate General of Correction has the authority to formulate policies to overcome various problems related to drug-dependent prisoners and drug abuse in prisons. These policies must be implemented in prisons through comprehensive programs, so that there will be changes in prisoners’ behaviour and way of thinking in general. Particularly for drug-dependent prisoners, rehabilitation programs are required to bring about their awareness not to use illegal drugs, which, if prisoners continue to use, will eventually lead to their re-incarceration.

What if you are arrested in Indonesia?


Many people think that when their loved one is arrested overseas, that their Government will rush to their defence, tell the detaining government what to do and free the prisoner immediately. Some even quote various violations of International Law, Human Rights mandates and local laws. Others quote corruption and insist that foreign aid, given in times of emergency ie: Tsunami, should be used as a bargaining chip to free the prisoner in question, or to cut all diplomatic ties as a means of demanding their release.

Reality check: foreign internment is a complex area

Some good advice: 

  • a) If you are arrested overseas, you may face a significant period of detention before your case comes to trial.

    b) The presence of illegal drugs detected in blood or urine tests is considered possession. You may also be charged with possessing drugs if trace amounts are found on your body, bloodstream, clothes or luggage. Amounts of 0.05 grams or less can lead to a conviction for drug possession and lengthy minimum mandatory prison sentences.

    c) get a competent lawyer who won't offend the detaining party by saying their laws are ridiculous (even if you think they are); make sure they are familiar with international law, sovereignty, foreign judicial process, AND mindful of cultural sensitivities (what is and isn't offensive in that culture);
  • d) establish a good rapport with the consular officers in the field, and with your point of contact through your relevant foreign affairs department;
  • e) work with people who have proven experience to develop a sound strategic plan away from the media, utilising the support and advice of known professionals who have extensive knowledge and key contacts in foreign relations,

f) avoid the tabloids as best you can. Some might offer you lucrative media deals or a spot on prime time television. All offers from the media should be directed to those experienced professionals who are working to secure your release. Often the media can impede negatively on a case, particularly if comments are negative towards the Indonesian authorities and their judicial process. 

g) work with them to engage the foreign government with dignity and respect, after all, they are best able to make approaches without the emotional attachments that can derail negotiations early on;

h) understand that these processes are complex and not easily resolved. Understand the reality of what your government can and cannot do for you. Your Government can assist you through the consul but they cannot provide a lawyer to you and they cannot get you out of jail. Think of it this way, if you were arrested in your home country, you would be subjected to due process. The same rules apply when you are arrested overseas. You must go through the judicial process and it cannot be interfered with by your Government.

i) your government cannot conduct investigations relating to any alleged offence. This is why you need a lawyer!

j) the Indonesian legal system is a Civil Law system rather than a Common Law system (The Common Law System is found chiefly in Australia, England, America and other former British colonies). Its procedures are entirely different to those in Australia, so don't confuse the two thinking that what might constitute 'reasonable doubt' or 'minor offense' back home will be similar in Indonesia. Penalties for crimes in Indonesia are usually harsh.

k) saying you didn't know that drugs were in your bag is not a sound legal defence in any court. If you cannot PROVE your case then chances are you will be convicted. 

l) keep a low profile and make sure you have support in place for the long haul. Things move slowly in Indonesia.

You attract more bees with honey than you do with vinegar

FPSS can highly recommend Lawyer Stephen Kenny as an initial point of contact: Click here

 Prison information scroll down...

A summary of the Stages of Incarceration

1. Initiation Stage

All offenders who have just entered correctional institutions should be observed carefully and should be gradually introduced to the new environment for a period of one month. During this period, the authority should collect information concerning the prisoner, including the reasons for their commission of crime. It is also important to know about the situation of the community to which the offender belongs and his or her attitudes. With all the information collected, suitable treatment programs can be planned and executed. Such treatment programs include the personality and self-reliance development program. The personality treatment focuses on mental and character development so that the offenders can be responsible for themselves, their families, and the community. The self-reliance development focuses on talent and skills so that offenders can become active community members. During this stage, prisoners are placed in a maximum-security setting.

2. The First Installment Stage

By this stage, all offenders have undergone one third of their sentence, and have made some progress in terms of the opinion of the correctional observer team. The offenders should show regret, discipline, and obedience to the rules of the institution. Prisoners are given more freedom and responsibility and medium control is applied to this group. Occasionally they are given a chance to work outside the institution. In the meantime, the institution also improves the offenders’ behaviour and etiquette so that the community will regain its trust in the offenders and change their attitude towards them. At this stage, drug-dependent prisoners are advised to participate in therapy and rehabilitation programs. There are two types of programs implemented in treating and rehabilitating drug dependent prisoners; the drugs abstinence treatment and rehabilitation program and methadone substitution therapy. In the meantime, some correctional institutions have provided health programs focusing on HIV/AIDS prisoners. The prisoners receive counselling and testing which continues on to care, support and treatment (CST) programs where they can easily access Anti-Retroviral Drugs (ARV).

3. The Second Instalment Stage

In this stage, the offenders have undergone half of their sentence, and according to the correctional observer team’s opinion, they have made substantive progress in their physical and mental conditions, as well as in their ability. The scope of the treatment in this stage encompasses not only the institution but also the community. The offenders take part in various kinds of activities, such as praying, sports, educational courses, working in government or private offices, working by themselves, visiting their family, etc. However, they are still under supervision by prison staff. At this stage, drug-dependent prisoners and HIV/AIDS prisoners may continue their treatment and rehabilitation programs. Some drug-dependent prisoners who had been involved in drugs abstinence programs can become trainers for new participants. Drug-dependent prisoners are also obliged to continue their involvement in methadone maintenance treatment. The obligation to continue the treatment is also emphasized for HIV/AIDS prisoners who received ARV. Hence, they can be supporters and peer educators for the other HIV/AIDS prisoners.

What is important at this stage is that the offenders should be mature enough to do the things required of them without harming the people around them. They also need support from their community. This stage applies minimum control.

4. The Third Stage

In order to enter this stage, the offenders must have undergone two-thirds of their sentence and they need to have spent at least nine months in the institution. If the treatment process goes smoothly, they may be paroled. The correctional observer team can recommend pre-release treatment. At this stage, the main treatment activities are administered in the community. Control and guidance is far more relaxed than in the previous stages so that in the end, the offenders can live in the community harmoniously and independently. Based on the developed referral system, drug-dependent prisoners and HIV/AIDS prisoners can continue their treatment in the community, particularly drug-dependent prisoners who had been involved in Methadone Maintenance Treatment and the HIV/AIDS prisoners who had been treated with ARV.

Australian jailed in Bali

Inside Kerobokan (Bali)

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran

Chris Parnell Story

Kids behind bars

Aids in Indonesian Prisons
Summary of the Indonesian Pardon Process
A Pardon is a clemency granted by the President to a prisoner in the form of alteration, remission, reduction or abolition of sentence. A prisoner is a person who is sentenced by a final and binding court decision. The types of sentence that may be subject to petition for pardon may be capital punishment, life imprisonment, imprisonment of 2 (two) years or more.

The petition for pardon shall be submitted one time only, except for those who were previously refused and a period of 2 (two) years has elapsed since the refusal date; or for those for whom a pardon was previously granted in the form of alteration from capital sentence to life imprisonment and a period of time 2 (two) years has elapsed since the granting date.

A petition for pardon shall not postpone the execution of a sentence, except for a capital sentence.

The President may grant or refuse a petition for pardon after obtaining the recommendations of the Supreme Court. The President may decide to a reduction or alteration of sentence, grant a remission; or abolition the charge altogether.

The judge or the chief of judges who examined the case in first instance shall notify the prisoner about his/her right to a pardon.

A petition for pardon may be submitted to the President by the prisoner or his/her proxy. For example; the family of the prisoner may submit an application only with his/her consent. For a prisoners who is imposed with a capital sentence, the petition for pardon may be submitted by the family of the prisoner without his/her consent.

A petition for pardon may be submitted after the court decision becomes final and binding.

The petition for pardon shall not be limited to a specific period of time.

One copy of the petition shall be submitted to the lower court that has decided the case in the first instance to be passed to the Supreme Court.

The petition for pardon and its copy may be submitted by a prisoner through the warden of the prison where the prisoner serves his/her sentence. In this instance, the warden shall send the petition to the President and its copies to the lower court that has decided the case in the first instance not later than 7 (seven) days since the petition for pardon and its copy are received.

Time specifications for handling the petition are often longer than that which is stipulated. Prisoners can expect lengthy delays in receiving any notification despite the time frames (up to two years before a final decision is made). For example; once the Supreme Court receives the petition , it should submit its recommendations in writing to the President within three months.

The President shall make the decision on a petition for pardon after considering the recommendations of the Supreme Court. This may take up to two years. This decision may be in the form of granting or refusal of pardon.

A copy of the decision shall be sent to the Supreme Court; the lower Court that has decided the case in the first instance; the Office of public prosecutor that has prosecuted the case; and the Prison where the prisoner serves the sentence.

A capital sentence shall not be executed before the President's decision on refusal of the petition for pardon is received by the prisoner, if there is a petition for pardon which is submitted by the prisoner, his/her lawyer or his/her family.
All legal challenges must be fully exhausted before a prisoner can submit a petition for Pardon.
The granting of pardon is neither a court technical-juridical issue nor is it an evaluation of a court decision. The granting of pardon does not constitute an intervention of the President into judicial matters, but is the prerogative right of the President to grant a pardon. Although the granting of pardon may alter, reduce, or abolish a sentence imposed by the court, it does not erase the committed crime and is also not a rehabilitation for the convict.
Prisoners are detained for a variety of crimes and some of those crimes are quite serious (drug trafficking, rape and murder). Visitors need to be aware that while their intentions may be to improve the condition of the prisoner, there are prisoners who will seek to exploit that good will. A word of advice, if you want to help a prisoner then take them food and clothing. Don't ever give a prisoner money because money corrupts!
Abepura Prison

Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Abepura, Jl. Kesehataan, Apepura, Papua, Indonesia
Telephone: +62967 581705

Violence against political prisoners - Click here
Biak Prison Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Biak, Jl. Condronegro I, Biak, Papua, Indonesia

Telephone: +62961 21227
Fakfak Prison Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Fakfak, Jl. Letjen S.Parman, Fakfak, Papua, Indonesia
Kerobokan prison Bali

Eyewitness accounts and exclusive photos (2012)

2014 Updates on Inside the prison

LPM Kerobokan Jl. - Tangkuban Perahu Kerobokan,
Denpasar 80117 Bali, INDONESIA

Frequently Asked Questions  - Kerobokan Prison 

Nabire Prison Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Nabire, Jl. Padat Karya, Nabire, Papua, Indonesia
Telephone: 21870

Madiun Prison

Last updated: Nov 2016
Home to 63 inmates including 7 Iranians.  To get to Madiun there are 2 ways - through Flights to Solo and then the train or rental car for a 3-4 hr drive to Madiun. Flights to Solo from Denpasar and back go on Sundays, Wed, Friday. Hotel Aston in Madiun is the best place to stay.

Location: (Click here) Facebook page: (Click here)

Visiting: The best way to visit a prisoner is by asking them to schedule your visit with the prison authorities. If you do not have contact with the prisoner then you must make representations to their Consular authority to first secure permission to visit. 

Manokwari Prison Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Manokwari, Jl. Sabang No.4,
Manokwari, Papua, Indonesia

Telephone: +62986 211387 or +62962 211387
Merauke Prison

Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Merauke, Jl. Ermasu No 18, Merauke, Papua, Indonesia

Telephone: +62971 321178
Municipal jail of Jayapura Irian Jaya (West Papua),
Polda Main police jail
Poltabes Jail -
Serui Prison Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Serui, Jl Serui, Serui, Papua, Indonesia
Telephone: +62961 31303
Sorong Prison

Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Sorong, Jl. Noho Doom, Sorong, Papua, Indonesia
Telephone: +62951 321330
Sukun Penitentiary for Women

Malang, East Java.
click here for Photos
Vanimo Prison PNG The Commander., Vanimo Corrective Institute, P.O .Box 124, Vanimo, Sandaun Province, Papau New Guinea.
Wamena Prison Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Wamena, Jl. Hom-hom, Wamena, Papua, Indonesia
Telephone: +62969 32586
For Australians held in police custody write to:

Prisoners Name
Jl. W. R. Supratman No. 7
Denpasar 80233

For Australians held in Kerobokan prison write to:

Prisoners Name
C/- LPM Kerobokan
Jl. Tangkuban Perahu
Kerobokan, Denpasar 80117

1. Abepura
Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Abepura, Jl. Kesehataan, Apepura, Papua, Indonesia Telephone: +62967 581705

2. Manokwari
Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Manokwari, Jl. Sabang No.4, Manokwari, Papua, Indonesia
Telephone: +62986 211387 or +62962 211387

3. Merauke
Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Merauke, Jl. Ermasu No 18, Merauke, Papua, Indonesia Telephone: +62971 321178

4. Sorong
Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Sorong, Jl. Noho Doom, Sorong, Papua, Indonesia Telephone: +62951 321330

5. Biak
Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Biak, Jl. Condronegro I, Biak, Papua, Indonesia Telephone: +62961 21227

6. Serui
Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Serui, Jl Serui, Serui, Papua, Indonesia Telephone: +62961 31303

7. Nabire
Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Nabire, Jl. Padat Karya, Nabire, Papua, Indonesi