The National, Wednesday 15th May 2013
William Nanua Kapris, perhaps the most notorious felon in PNG right now, has made a laughing stock of the country’s penal system by escaping with relative ease from the biggest jail in the country.
The Bomana correctional facility certainly needs to correct its internal security if a well-known criminal serving a lengthy sentence can practically waltz out the front gate a week after threatening to do just that.
This begs the question: What on earth is happening with our jail system if convicted rapists, bank robbers, arsonists, thieves, murderers and all manner of undesirables could walked out of supposedly secure locations?
And the fact that it is happening on a regular basis is worrying.
Who is running these state institutions? Col Henry Blake?
It’s no exaggeration to say that break outs are becoming a norm in jails across the country from Bui-ebi to Keravat and everything in between; Kapris’ latest escapade if nothing else proves that our Correctional Services desperately lack the ability to keep behind bars our criminal elements.
Incidentally, Kapris reportedly has in his possession a gun, so not only is he on the loose but armed as well.
This begs another more puzzling question, why isn’t the situation being addressed at the parliamentary level?
Why aren’t our MPs making a bigger fuss about the standard of our criminal justice system, particularly our jails?
Don’t they want to keep dangerous individuals off our streets and neighbourhoods?
Don’t they want to safeguard our women and children?
We do have a crime rate that is barely being managed by our police force so why exacerbate the problem by maintaining a clearly porous jail system?
A case in point is the brutal killing of a 20-year-old mother on the outskirts of Lae earlier this month by
a prison escapee.
What are we to make of this latest breakout?
These facilities represent in theory and practice the last stop for the criminally inclined and are the holding houses for those that chose to live with no consideration for the laws of this land.
Coincidentally, today is the second day of the national haus krai, which is an uprising of sorts by our womenfolk against every form of abuse and marginalisation that they have suffered and continue to suffer from.
Somehow the escape of Kapris, from a maximum security holding cell is a slap in the face of a society fed
up of the laxness and unprofessional style of state institutions in general.
What is the meaning of “maximum security” anyway?
A cell with three walls, a grilled door and manned by a guard on the take?
Surely we can do better than that or are we to accept that jails are just a home away from home for society’s bad and irretrievably rotten apples.
Kapris may have earned a kind of celebrity by his high profile crimes but he is by no means a star.
We have here a criminal, in every sense on the word, thumbing his nose at authority and telling us indirectly that he can pretty much do as he pleases.
What is the state going to do about this?
To those that argue that these institutions are doing all they can, our response is the evidence says otherwise.
We are simply not doing enough hence the compulsion of our women to unite in protest.
Kudos to the women of Papua New Guinea for making a stand against violence, oppression, indignity, discrimination and the list goes on.
It is both a sad and telling indictment that after 38 years of nationhood no man, inside Parliament or outside, has really carried this issue and pushed for a fairer go for PNG women.
The least they can now do is start recognising and acknowledging that we (men) have a problem in general with the way we see and treat our women.