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Extreme heat takes withering toll in teeming Philippine jails

A historic heat wave has struck the Philippines, home to some of the world's most congested detention facilities.

MANILA - Amid a historic heat wave in the Philippines, few places have been harder to bear than the country's overcrowded jails and prisons.

As temperatures rose past 122 degrees in parts of the country last month, jails reported thousands of cases of boils, rashes and skin disease among inmates. Authorities raced to reduce the crowding, which was caused by a draconian six-year campaign against drugs started by Rodrigo Duterte when he was president.

Philippine detention facilities are the fourth most congested in the world, according to data from the London-based Institute for Crime & Justice Policy Research. Two-thirds of the jails are overburdened. Some have more than 20 times the inmate population they are capable of handling, according to national data.


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