The National, Friday 19th April 2013
CORRECTIONAL officers are protected by the law to shoot inmates trying to escape, says Correctional Service commissioner Martin Balthazar.
He also said armed duty officers who tolerate or pity escapees must resign.
Balthazar addressed prison officers and inmates at Buimo in Lae, Morbe, on Wednesday accompanied by deputy commissioner corporate affairs, David Melengi, Buimo acting commander Supt Judy Tara, Lae police metropolitan commander Supt Iven Lakatani and chief operations Commander Insp Fred Kaiwa.
“Never create uneasy situations that will force the government to amend and enact laws, especially shoot-to-kill or capital punishment, because our attitude will determine the future of this country in curbing lawlessness,” said Balthazar.
He said CS officers, police and soldiers should uphold the law to ensure peace and harmony prevailed in society.
“CS officers and police are not here to shoot and kill inmates,” he said.
“It will be your (inmates) own doing if someone is shot. CS officers are protected by law.”
He also warned families and relatives against harbouring escapees as it was an offence.
He said catering for prisoners was too costly for the government which had to feed them three times a day and provide them human habitation facilities.
“Never ever think of escaping,” he told the inmates.
“We all make mistakes. Learn from them (while in prison) and become better persons in society.”