“Where do you go when you leave the jail?”, I have asked Rappy (not his real name, he asked for his last name to be withheld) when he received his certificate of discharge. He didn’t reply to me, instead, he just bowed down his head and signed deeply.

As I asked further, he divulged that he’s afraid to go out of the pixelized grey gate. He didn’t inform his family, especially his wife, that his case was provisionally dismissed for failure of the prosecution to bring the arresting and seizing officer for trial in court.

As I watched Rappy, I recalled the same situation for many Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL) before him. Like him, several PDL has nowhere else to go after their release. Either they are hesitant to go back to their families and friends due to humiliation or the fear of going back again to their old ways.

Rappy, 42 yrs. old, recently got out from this jail facility (Ipil District Jail-Male Dormitory) after serving two years in violation of RA 9165 for selling illegal drugs. He is small, with hair so short he looks bald. His hands are mutilated from years of punching walls and windows when his violent instincts kicked in. Some of his teeth were missing and broken due to “meth mouth” – is a term used to describe the visible effects of oral disease in a person who uses methamphetamine because of the rampant tooth decay that often occurs with the drug’s use. People who use methamphetamine may have blackened, stained, broken, or rotting teeth both as a result of side effects of the drug itself and related lifestyle factors.  

Prior to his incarceration, he used to be an impetuous-devil-may-care person because he was born with a silver spoon stuck in his mouth. They previously own a Pharmacy but closed it down due to his vices. Eventually, he landed jail.

During his first few months in jail, he was frequently being cautioned and subjected to disciplinary sanctions…. until violence led him to realize how to respect others and learn the value of humility. He said that it could be challenging to adjust to a different world on the outside. “Respect out here is being friendly, being nice, you know just treating people as they should be treated.” Rappy disclosed.

Eventually, he’s now reunited with his family. “After the ordeal…I am now focus to revive the years lost from me…very determined and contented”, he stated.

He’s manning now his small business [a computer and school supplies shop]. In fact, we tapped him for all our office supplies, from bond papers to computer supplies.