Baisu jail in for K83m upgrade

National, Normal

BAISU jail in Mt Hagen will undergo a major facelift with modern facilities at a total cost of K83 million.
The good news, however, is that Correctional Services (CS) officers will get a hefty pay increase starting next year, making them the second highest paid disciplined forces in the country after the police.
Correctional Services Minister Tony Aimo made the announcement  yesterday at Baisu jail during an inspection tour of highlands region jails.
Aimo, who is Ambunti-Dreikikir MP, said work on the state-of-the-art prison would start no later than this month and would be one of the best prison facilities in the Pacific when completed.
He said Baisu had been chosen for this new facility because of its extensive space.
Along with this change, would be a recruitment drive to replace the aging workforce because younger people would be needed to manage the new facility, Aimo said.
He said the CS had recruited 120 officers so far and would continue recruiting until 2014 when 7,000 recruits would be taken in.
Aimo said there would also be major changes done in the head offices where “uniform officers” would be replaced by white collar professional public servants to improve services and efficiency in the work of CS.
He said the aging officers would play the mentoring role during the recruitment drive so that existing skills were transferred to the new intakes in an orderly transition period.
Aimo said these were among some of the changes set to take place within the department in order to step up operations within the department.
He also encouraged private-public partnership and commended the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) for embarking on this with the Baisu prison during the signing of an agreement yesterday.
He was accompanied by CS commissioner Richard Sikani and assistant commissioner operations Henry Wavik.