Crocodiles to Guard Indonesian Prisons

Ella Mulligan '19, Writer

Indonesia is a country riddled with crime and drug trafficking issues.  Although the country has some of the harshest drug laws in the world, the illegal drug user population in 2014 was still 4.1 million people, a large portion of the population. In Indonesia, the smuggling of illegal drugs is worthy of the death penalty, and even just using those drugs can send an individual to prison for several years. However, some prisoners have been escaping from their cells with the help of corrupt prison guards.  

The guards of the prisons have allegedly been allowing prisoners, even those on death row, to escape if they are willing to pay a significant amount of money in return. There are even reports that say that the guards not only release prisoners, but trade drugs to the prisoners on the prison islands.  However, Indonesia has expressed a potential solution to the problem.  The head of the country’s anti-drug agency has suggested replacing human guards with crocodiles, as crocodiles cannot be bribed with money.

The plan is simple: all convicted drug traffickers are to be sent to a prison island, away from corrupt guards and drug users, and guarded by the ferocious animals.  If the prisoners tried to escape, they would be eaten by the crocodiles, which would certainly sway other convicts from attempting to escape. In addition, the plan apparently does not violate human rights at all since the crocodile is the one doing the killing, not another person.  Even though the plan is still in its preliminary stages, the head of the Indonesian anti-drug agency, Budi Waseso, has declared his intention to hunt down the most ferocious crocodiles in the country, and station them around the island.  Although this plan has not been put into effect, Indonesian anti-drug officials are giving the idea some serious consideration.