‘CS workforce aging’

Main Stories, National


AGING force, and shortage of funding and manpower are some hindrances taking the toll in the Correctional Services operations.
Many of the staff members are aged between 59 and 69 years old, Correctional Services Commissioner Richard Sikani said.
Mr Sikani yesterday said the aging workforce had affected staff performances and, in many instances, was the cause of jailbreaks.
He said many offenders were young and they had no problem overpowering the older staff.
The commissioner highlighted an incident where an elderly staff was transporting one of the prisoners past Gerehu, Port Moresby, recently when the prisoner took advantage and fled.
However, Mr Sikani said that there would be a staff restructure between now and October and he planned to recruit about 150 new staff later this year. 
He said breakouts could be prevented if CS did away with the current usage of cyclone fences in place of brick walls.
He said the cyclone fences were put up in the 1950s and 1960s and they must be replaced to prevent future breakouts.
He said brick walls were more effective than cyclone fences.
Mr Sikani said it was impossible to operate without resources and funds.
He said he was upset that their 2010 budget was “knocked down” with the Government only approving K5 million.
“This is insufficient for us to operate on,” he said.   
When asked if CS had come up with measures and decisions to prevent further jailbreaks, Mr Sikani said he would be able to comment on that issue after tomorrow’s meeting.