Jakarta (ANTARA) - Law and Human Rights Ministry's Correctional Directorate General Secretary Heni Yuwono praised the effort to improve the convicts' literacy, so that they can still stay abreast of developments in the world despite being in prison.

"Literacy creates a bridge of knowledge. This is an effort to make them slightly more aware of the outside world," Yuwono remarked during the Suara di Balik Jerjak book unveiling online event on Thursday.

The effort to improve literacy for inmates aligns with the guidance course aimed at returning them back to where they come from after being released from correctional facilities.

Every convict has the right to access reading materials and mass media broadcasts, Yuwono stressed.

It is difficult for convicts to express their ideas and thoughts amid access restriction.

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Hence, he lauded the book unveiling that became an outlet for inmates to express themselves and share stories to broader members of the public.

Through the book Suara di Balik Jerjak, inmates can prove that living behind the bars is not a hurdle to contribute to advancing literacy in Indonesia, he noted.

He acknowledged the fact that the condition of correctional facilities were not yet conducive enough to be able to improve the literacy of convicts.

Hence, improving literacy in Indonesia is a collective duty for the nation's future.

Improving access to quality reading material and encouraging reading culture is the key to developing human resources, Yuwono remarked.

The presence of quality reading materials can help filter the stream of information without the ability to understand information well.

Suara di Balik Jerjak, written by inmates, contains the best 26 stories from the Second Chance Foundation's Story Writing Contest held at the end of 2020.

The book was published in printed and electronic form in Indonesian and in English with the title Voices from Behind Bars.

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Translator: Nanien Yuniar, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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