Beseo pushes for nationwide jails upgrade

National, Normal

The National, Mondy 14th November 2011

CORRECTIONAL Services Minister Sailon Beseo said there was an urgent need to improve management deficiencies and the state of prison facilities in the country.
Addressing a parade at Bomana Jail outside Port Moresby last Thursday – attended by outgoing commissioner Richard Sikani, acting commissioner Martin Balthazar and representatives from other disciplined forces – he said these needs must be addressed urgently.
“I am concerned that a report on CIS in 2007 stated that 38% of the 1,300 CIS staff are 50 years old  or older (they have reached retirement age), and by 2012, 50% will have to be put on compulsory retirement,” he said.
“I have been advised that there was no retirement since 2007 until recently and realise that numbers are down, considering exits through deaths, resignations, medical and voluntary retirement and disciplinary dismissal.
“The CIS needs a total ‘shake-up’ of its management and functional and line managers, as we have many hardcore and repeat offenders and when they escape or are not rehabilitated properly, this can expose the country to serious security threats.
“I will discuss that later but in interim, the government’s focus is to rebuild capacity and manpower.”