Criminals, murderers, rapists serving their prison sentence between work and self-management. Iwahig, on the island of Palawan, is an atypical prison: no fences and cells, hosts 2,919 inmates and their families.
A favorite destination of tourists, Palawan island - named in 2014 the most beautiful in the world by readers of Condé Nast - is characterized by further peculiarities. It welcomes, in fact, a reality of prison sui generis. In a condition of parole, prisoners who have the privilege of residing in Iwahig spend the day on the island in contact with tourists. The Prison and Penal Farm is set in the natural sites most popular in the world, two of which UNESCO.
Starting from 2007, the Philippine government introduced laws for a renewal of the prisons and the living conditions of inmates, which in most of the structures are in a terrible condition and where the gangs continue to rule.
However, in any other prison in the country it was made a radical change, a kind of "revolution", like that happened to Iwahig thanks to the work of the prison’s director, Superintendent Antonio C. Cruz.

Walking around in the prison the main idea is not the same you have in other same places in the world in which one inmate who enter inside a prison become a dead man, waiting the end of his sentence thinking all the day to what he has committed with no possibilities of freedom, here inmates has a second chance.
In Iwahig, inmates - according to the posts received - wear T-shirts of different colors: brown, blue or orange according to the minimum, medium or maximum security they are assigned. This condition in variable in time and there’s the possibility for the minimum security inmates to become “skeletal”, to move freely outside of the prison and live with their families inside the structure but in private houses. From Monday to Saturday, from dawn until noon, perform different tasks: from fishing to working in the fields, from breeding to crafts, to finish the dance; a real ballet, in fact, entertain tourists on reward.
The correction program provide 6 main activities: school education, life integration (handcraft instructions), moral, therapeutic communities (to rehab inmates with drugs addictions, very common the one from Shabboo), Spiritual (several different communities in the prison: Catholic, cristian, born again, iglesia ni cristo, musllims, baptists), agricultural. The 26,629 hectares belonging to the correctional facility are accessible to the public. The Iwahig Penal Farm produces more than any other country. Only 30% of the earnings is used for the maintenance of the prison and the sustenance of prisoners. The remainder of the proceeds is administered according to the Prison Law of 2013. Some prisoners are also entitled to a salary, which varies depending on the application performed: a farmer earns 1 euro and 90 cents per month, an employee twice. It is estimated that only about twenty cases of attempted escape occurred in the last decade. 
Currently in the prison are detained 2,919 inmates (515min/2,283med/121max) and the total of working personnel is 255 (84 civilian, 171 custodial). In the last 5 years the prison excelled in quality of life and received each year the award of excellence for the best facility and best Superintendent of the country.

The uniqueness of this prison remains undisputed:after the election of President Duterte and what’s happening in the country,inmates are afraid that the new director can reapply the restrictions and violence of the past in a place where people have a real second chance and where many decide to remain even after the end of their sentence.
 
A prison without bars on the most beautiful island of the world.

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The house of the rising sun

A revolutionary prison in a paradise island

 Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm of Palawan | Philippines

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