Asia

Inside one of the world's largest prisons

Published 0228 GMT (1028 HKT) December 12, 2014
Share
philippines new bilibid prison 4philippines new bilibid prison 4
1 of 8
New Bilibid Prison (NBP), on the outskirts of Manila, was built decades ago for a maximum 5,500 inmates. Now more than 14,200 prisoners live there, crammed together in cells and outnumbering prison guards by a staggering 80:1. Courtesy: Raymund Narag
Ninety-five percent of inmates of NBP belong to 12 gangs, according to research by Clarke Jones and Raymund Narag, who took these images in the summer of 2012. Gang culture within the prison often leads to violence, but they say it also fills an important void. Here a prisoner is seen exercising using improvised weights. Courtesy: Raymund Narag
The Philippines government is trying to modernize the country's prisons and plans to build a new maximum security facility to ease congestion. Here, inmate medical "trustees" take care of sick and mentally ill inmates in the prison hospital. Courtesy: Raymund Narag
An inmate opens up his own business repairing shoes inside the prison. Narag says most inmates use their skills to earn extra money which they usually send back to help support their families. Courtesy: Raymund Narag
Backyard gardening is another example of how inmates are taking control of available resources to meet their needs. Narag says inmates develop free space into gardens to supplement their food intake. Courtesy: Raymund Narag
There are more than a hundred stalls in the Maximum Security Compound offering different products to inmates, Narag says. Some enterprising inmates ask regular visitors to buy products from outside the prison which they resell to fellow prisoners. Courtesy: Raymund Narag
The entrance to the mini-park and tennis court. "This is a project of the Lamb of God Foundation, an inmate organization duly registered to the Securities and Exchange Commission," Narag says. "The Tennis Court was constructed through inmate initiatives. Inmates organize competitions and invite professional tennis players to play with them." Courtesy: Raymund Narag
Children of inmates also live within the walls of the prison and often play in "Kiddie Park." There's also a mini-zoo near the park which is popular with local families and visitors. Courtesy: Raymund Narag