Helping escapes a worry

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DWU journalism student
CORRECTIONAL Services (CIS) Commissioner Stephen Pokanis says 14 officers have been dismissed or fined up to K1,000 for misconduct over the past three years.
Most of them were to do with officers helping prisoners escape from jails, he said.
Pokanis said the institution had its own legislations that governed its officers who stepped out of line.
“Escapes have been a huge challenge in many of our prisons,” he said.
Pokanis said all three disciplined forces had their own laws that helped in dealing with offences caused by personnel, including the Correctional Services.
“If Correctional Services officers are found guilty of a range of charges laid against them for negligence and allowing escapes, they will be dismissed from work or the matter can be reported to police for external independent investigations.”
He said the process of dealing with officers who misbehaved was lengthy which started with allegations that were raised, to investigations, to the CIS disciplinary board and then recommendations by the board would be sent to the commissioner for a decision.
Pokanis said every prison in the country had its own disciplinary board that dealt with such cases and was like the normal courts where the defendant went before the court to defend himself or herself.
He said there had been pockets of escapes from CIS institutions but a large number from the Bomana jail outside Port Moresby where 18 of the 20 escapees were re-captured by a joint taskforce with police in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Pokanis said about 300 prisoners escaped from prisons each year, but this year, there was a lower number.
Deputy commissioner Michael Mosiri saluted 39 officers, including females, who were promoted yesterday.
“These promotions show that you are capable of doing what you are promoted to do and the promotion comes with responsibilities that would help achieve the institution’s goals,” he said.
Pokanis said there were 452 positions for officers to be promoted up to, 23 were withdrawn.
He said there was no question that the success of CIS depended on the quality of leaders with strength and sound leadership that had driven the performance effectively which helped to create an environment for the CIS employees with the others to perform to the best of their abilities.
“Those who got promoted should know that the promotion gives recognition and signifies the work that you do and it means more than the insignia you are wearing today,” he told officers.