THE ratio of Correctional Service officers at Buimo jail to inmates and remandees is at long odds.
The odds are further compounded with the onset of retirement age for many of the officers.
The officers were now being forced to perform beyond their ability, officers said.
The Buimo jail caters for 700 prisoners.
The staff ceiling was 120 officers.
But due to retrenchment, the number has been reduced to 75 male and 14 female officers.
While waiting for replacements, most of the senior officers had gone passed retirement age, jail commander Supt Samson Jaro said.
“We need young officers to replace us.They are more familiar with the current technology and the strings of crimes committed.
“We are now experiencing current a growth with the business situation in Lae port redevelopment, the mining boom in the province, Ramu nickel in Madang and the liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in the Highlands, in 10 years’ time, problems will escalate and mushroom throughout the city,” he said.
“The jail capacity is very limited and not up to the standard for human habitation.
“We cannot take more prisoners and are under-strength with staff members living in poor conditions.
“The ratio for CS officer and prisoner was one officer to five prisoners (1:5), but compared to current crimes, it should be three officers to fiveprisoners (3:5) .”
Supt Jaro urged governments “including responsible State agencies to envision the social agonies waiting ahead and set in place mechanisms beginning today”.
“Despite the economic boom, it will never solve most social problems; but will lure and increase social problems and crime rates, so we have to expect serious crimes,” he said.
“Lae city will become central and the nerve centre in coordinating industrial activities to five Highlands provinces, the Mamose and the New Guinea Islands including Oro province.
“Therefore, security measures and systems have to be planned ahead and set in place.”