Official: Delays cause of escapes

National, Normal

The National, Monday February 10th, 2014

 THE lengthy wait by people on remand in prisons is a major cause of breakouts, acting Correctional Services Commissioner David Melenge says.

Melenge said the 157 inmates who escaped from Beon Prison in Madang, Buimo Prison in Lae, Bihute Prison in Goroka and from Buiebi Prison in Mendi were mostly people on remand awaiting their court appearance.

“Prisoners who escaped from Buiebi in Mendi recently were those on remand, with some having waited for five years to have their cases heard in court,” he said.

“Most of these prison escapees are not convicted prisoners. It is usually prisoners on remand.”

The problem of jail breakouts was highlighted by the Correctional Services Minister Jim Simatab late last year. 

He said a policy framework for detainee rehabilitation and modern detainee industries programme would address the issue once submissions on the policy were considered by the Government.

Melenge said prison officers were still looking for those still on the run.

He said some officers were helping Buimo officers in the recently closed operation Helvim Buimo. 

The operation looked at addressing containment issues.