By Wulan Kusuma Wardhani / Coconuts Jakarta
Bambang Yulistyo Dwi Mulyanto aka Tedjo, 48, has dealt with the judicial system more times than he would’ve liked as a drug user. It started when he was a senior high school student in his hometown of Solo, Central Java.
“I was arrested for using marijuana in 1991, but the case was closed because cops accepted bribe money from my family. I was only detained for 16 days,” Tedjo said.
Eighteen years later, he was caught with a gram of heroin and sentenced to one year and three months in Semarang. In 2013, he was arrested for marijuana use and jailed for one year and four months at Wirogunan prison, Yogyakarta.
Rosma Karlina, 42, was also a repeat drug offender. In 2005, she was charged with heroin abuse and trafficking. At the time, she said law enforcement officers extorted her family over her arrest.
“My family was told to pay a certain amount of money so that I wouldn’t be jailed for more than five years,” Rosma said.
She was eventually sentenced to three years in prison, yet only served 20 months at Paledang correctional institution in Bogor after she was granted conditional release and a sentence remission.
As a former female drug offender, Rosma was doubly stigmatized by society, given that she didn’t only break the law but was also perceived as having failed to behave responsibly as a woman.