Families allowed to visit inmates


CORRECTIONAL Services Commissioner Stephen Pokanis is expected to allow the families of prisoners to see them after restricting visits at all jails around the country during the state of emergency (SOE). “I have issued new instructions this week and this is to allow visits to inmates by family members,” he said.
Pokanis said the decision was made for the sake of good management practices under the Correctional Services legislation and would adhere to the Covid-19 protocols with only one family member allowed to visit a prisoner.
Pokanis said the lifting of the visitation restriction would also be beneficial for the inmates’ morale.
He said family members usually brought prisoners much needed personal items such as toiletries, and food which all contributed to a prisoner’s wellbeing.
Meanwhile, the overcrowding at Buimo jail in Morobe is a concern for the Correctional Services Department with the rising prison population susceptible to diseases and living in inhumane conditions.
Pokanis said a lack of court services was contributing to the build-up of numbers.
He said prisoners’ court hearings and cases would be attended to immediately.