THE acting commander of the Kerevat jail in East New Britain province has expressed concern that the Correctional Services Commission does not seem to be considering prisoners for parole.
Chief Insp Margaret Garap said her facility had not been instructed to release any prisoner for the past few years.
Some of them, she said, had served lengthy terms and had showed remorse.
“We are of the view that they are fit to return to their communities,” she said at the graduation of inmates who had completed courses conducted under the prison’s rehabilitation programmes.
“But the Parole Board is taking too long.”
Chief Insp Garap said the last prisoner released on parole was in 2005 and, since then, recommendations had been made for more than five others.
She urged Assistant Commissioner of Prisons (Policy and Planning) Steven Pokanis, who was among those present last Friday, to quickly consider their recommendations.
She said all the stakeholders in Kerevat, which included the provincial government, OISCA International, the National Agriculture Research Institute, the PNG Cocoa Coconut Institute and AIDS Council, were committed to rehabilitating prisoners.
Chief Insp Garap said the prison currently held more than 300 prisoners, with about half of them from West New Britain and Manus provinces and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
She said more than 150 inmates were graduating from their courses and that more assistance was planned for next year.
She also announced the launch of a “uni sub-centre”, an initiative of the University of Papua New Guinea distance mode education under the Kokopo Open Campus to help inmates pursue further studies.