SJO3 Larry R. Albano, Nat’l Awardee – Therapeutic Community Modality Program Focal Person
It is said that the success of an organization depends on how each unit of the organization performs its functions, delivers outputs, and how effective and efficient the leader is in managing his people and all other available resources of the organization to maximize productivity. Relative to this, the abilities and capabilities of the human resources as the most important asset of the organization contribute a great deal and a great impact in the achievement of established organizational goals and objectives.
This was proven when Laoag City Jail was honored with the most coveted title and award as the Best City Jail for the year 2013 besting 100 other city jails in the entire Philippines. This award would not have been possible without the collective efforts and the significant roles played by different units and personnel of the jail, one of whom is SJO3 Larry R Albano, the TC Focal Person of the jail.
One significant factor which has made Laoag City Jail over and above the other city jails in the country is the implementation of the Therapeutic Community Modality Program. As a matter of fact, the TC program has been in place at the jail since March 2011. However, the practice of the program was not consistent, to say the least, and was implemented just for the sake of compliance. It was only during the wardenship of J/CINSP HERMINIGILDO B RIVERA that the said program was regularly implemented and its practice was strengthened.
To better implement the program, Warden Rivera designated SJO3 Albano to supervise the activities related to the TC program. At first, the task was very challenging because the residents were not used to such kind of program and their response was not so receptive. It seemed that the conduct of the program was a mere waste of time on the part of the residents because their daily routine was disrupted. Initially, what SJO3 Albano did was to form a core group which was composed of the leaders and assistant leaders from each dormitory and gave them the responsibility of supervising the implementation of the program in their respective dorms.
After giving the residents responsibilities to take charge of their own dormitories, SJO3 Albano proposed a recognition and reward system to the warden wherein the best TC implementer among the dormitories was to be awarded as the Best Dorm during their monthly convocation. The reward system was helpful because it motivated the residents to do better and to strive harder because they did not want to be left behind with the other dorms. Gradually they learned to appreciate the program because they realized after all that it was for their own benefit.
With all of the trainings and seminar-workshops undergone by SJO3 Albano, he buckled down to work to adopt all the things he learned and put into practice all the knowledge, ideas, and principles he was able to come up with from the newly crafted TC manual. The first thing he did was to organize a seminar-workshop among all the residents to strengthen the implementation of the program by giving inputs and new ideas, and modifying the current practice being conducted at the jail. This time, the residents were more cooperative and more receptive with the new knowledge and ideas that they were getting.
SJO3 Albano was also tasked to create the TC hierarchical structure through the designation of several residents as coordinators, department heads or crew in the different departments, organized the residents into different static groups, formulated the different IWD programs and activities that will be included in the schedule of activities and reintroduced the essential parts of the morning meeting.
SJO3 Albano also conducted a seminar among all the personnel of the jail to make sure that they are well-versed and updated on the implementation of the program. The activity was also an opportunity for them to appreciate the program and brainstorm on the different issues and concerns that needed to be addressed involving the custodial force in preparation for the full implementation of the program.
Nearly five years after its full implementation, the TC program of Laoag City Jail had come a long way since it was introduced at the jail. The former monthly activity had now become a weekly program and later on, as a regular or daily activity with the adoption of the TC Weekly Schedule of Daily Activities and until such time that residents and personnel alike learned to embrace it as a habit and as a way of life. Thanks to the diligence of SJO3 Albano, who relentlessly and vigorously devoted his time and effort in making sure that the program is fully implemented, and with the full support and active participation of Warden Rivera in all his undertakings.
The fruits of the TC program had been very remarkable as manifested with the gradual changes in residents’ behavior particularly with the way they interact with their fellow residents, residents becoming more responsible with their actions and reactions especially in taking care of their own dormitories and in maintaining the cleanliness and orderliness of the surroundings of the jail, residents becoming more polite and courteous to all visitors, residents becoming more concerned with their fellow residents, their surroundings, and with the jail because of the fact that they consider the jail as their home away from home, and a whole lot more. These manifestations of positive change had even sparked the curiosity of the media and the general public to come and visit the jail, thereby building a positive image and creating an impact to the community.
In recognition to all the collective efforts of the warden, SJO3 Albano, all personnel and residents of the jail, Laoag City Jail was accorded as one of the jails in the country to be evaluated and accredited by the National Headquarters as a TC Model Jail.
To date, the TC program maintains a regular office within the jail premises that oversee the faithful implementation of all the activities. Morning meeting is being conducted everyday by the residents inside their respective dormitories. However, each dorm has to perform the said program at the Chapel once a week for evaluation purposes to make sure that the residents follow or conform to the proper format of the program. Other programs and activities which were strengthened because of the TC program include the livelihood activities of the residents, skills training, sports and recreational activities, literacy program, spiritual activities, among others. In addition to this, aside from the daily conduct of Static Group meeting by the residents from Monday to Friday, such meetings are also held during Saturdays and Sundays but the only difference is that, during these meetings, the family members and visitors of the residents join in the gatherings.
Just recently, SJO3 Albano was invited by the City DILG as one of the Resource Speakers during the workshop/seminar of the MASA-MASID, in preparation for the implementation of the Barangay-Based Rehabilitation Program in all the 80 barangays of the city of Laoag wherein the concept of the TC program will be utilized.
Laoag City Jail will continue to go on further and farther with its program in sustaining the rehabilitation and holistic development of residents through the Therapeutic Community Modality Program as the backbone of the IWD Program of the jail in preparing for their eventual re-integration to the mainstream of society.
Morning Meeting is conducted by the residents inside their respective dormitories from Monday through Friday. Once a week, each dormitory has to perform the program at the Chapel for evaluation purposes. Residents with drug-related cases conduct their Morning Meeting outside their dormitory from Monday through Thursday while residents with non-drug cases are scheduled every Friday.
Every Monday, all residents conduct Static Group meeting to conduct education campaign on anti-illegal drug awareness, anti-smoking and to discuss other issues and concerns inside the community.