By ELIZABETH VUVU
AN inmate at the Kerevat jail in East New Britain province has raised concerns about the delay in the parole system.
Chris Romen, from East New Britain province, had the opportunity to say this on Saturday in front of Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane.
Christmas behind bars for inmates at Kerevat jail was made special with the visit from Sir Paulias and Lady Kaludia.
They were also accompanied by the managing director Tropicana Limited, Sandra Lau, who is known as the province’s “charity queen”.
Mr Romen said the Kerevat prisoners who were entitled to parole, continued to keep their fingers crossed that the early parole system would be reactivated soon.
He asked whether the law of release was still effective because Kerevat inmates had been waiting for five years to apply.
Mr Romen claimed that the initial delay had been because of a pending appointment for the parole board committee chairman, however, this had already been done and there had been no news about parole applications from the jail.
He said it was setbacks like this which contributed to unrest in jails and breakouts such as those witnessed in Buimo, Bomana and recently at Bihute.
He said as a result, Correctional Service (CS) staff became victims by being suspended or losing their jobs due to lack of performance.
The inmate urged Sir Paulias to look into the issue of parole release policies which the National Government should review and not leave it to the department.
Kerevat acting commanding officer, Chief Insp Margaret Garap, challenged provincial governments in New
Ireland, West New Britain, Manus and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville to improve their existing jails.Chief Insp Garap said currently, inmates from these provinces were in custody at Kerevat but had a right to serve their time in their respective provinces and be closer to their relatives and families.
She said the Kerevat jail administration had experienced many welfare problems with inmates from other provinces and provincial governments needed to realise this and improve their jails so that inmates could be
repatriated and united with their families.
Kerevat, being the regional institution in the New Guinea Islands (NGI) region, caters for 350 inmates coming in from the other NGI jails.
Five of these inmates are women.
To give inmates the feeling of Christmas, Mrs Lau brought a truckload of presents and food.