Antigraft Commission to Shame Detainees With New, Blue Offenders’ Uniform

By webadmin on 11:37 pm Nov 30, 2008
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Nivell Rayda

Corruption suspects will soon be forced to wear a uniform as part of efforts to discourage corruption, said Johan Budi, a spokesman for the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, on Sunday.

Johan said the uniform, which has yet to be shown to the public, is a blue T-shirt with a large KPK logo and the word “detainee” printed on the back, with a prisoner serial number on the front.

The commission has received 10 uniform designs since it began soliciting ideas in August.

“Soon, all detainees will wear the uniform all of the time, both in their cells and when they are questioned by the KPK,” Johan said.

The spokesman said the commission had sent letters explaining the plan to prison wardens in
Jakarta, as well as to the National Police, South Jakarta Police, Central Jakarta Police, West Jakarta Police and the headquarters of the Brimob Mobile Police Unit.

“We don’t know when the suspects will start wearing the uniforms. We have to wait for responses from the wardens,” Johan said. During trials, judges will determine whether defendants have to wear the uniforms.

According to a survey conducted by the KPK that was released in August, a majority of respondents said that the commission had not been effective in preventing or deterring corrupt activities in Indonesia.

About 71.6 percent of more than 2,000 respondents surveyed by the KPK said the commission had failed to create a sense of remorse among people convicted of corruption, while 58.6 percent said the KPK had failed to prevent corruption.

The KPK introduced the uniform idea to engender a sense of shame among offenders and to deter others from engaging in corrupt activities.

Emerson Yuntho, head of legal and judiciary affairs at Indonesia Corruption Watch, the country’s top anticorruption watchdog, said that offenders frequently showed their lack of remorse by dressing extravagantly.

“Offenders wear their best to court,” Emerson said. “Urip Tri Gunawan [a former prosecutor convicted of corruption] even wore his prosecutor safari suits.

“They are treated just like other citizens and not as criminals. Of course others won’t be deterred.”

He called the new uniforms a positive step in Indonesia’s fight against corruption.