The National, Tuesday 18th September, 2012
By JUNIOR UKAHA
PRISONERS will provide labour and any skill they have to help the Correctional Services (CS) in business under a new policy, Commissioner Martin Balthasar said last Thursday.
Prison labour will also be marketed to generate money for the prisoners and the state.
This is part of a blueprint for a new policy the CS is looking at to create a business arm for it, Balthasar announced at Bomana prison, outside Port Moresby, during a parade to welcome new Correctional Services Minister Jim Simatab.
He said CS was working on a policy to enable the Prison Industry Corporation to generate money for the CS and equip prisoners with specific skills and knowledge.
Balthasar said the initiative would fall under a public-private partnership programme and prisoners would be used to provide labour for the business.
“In its embryonic stages.
“The Prison Industry Corporation will be controlled by the office of the commissioner and selected industry experts,” he said.
“The Prison Industry Corporation will become the rehabilitation vehicle.”
Balthasar said in the interim, present rehabilitation programmes and projects would continue while policy and legal aspects of the programme were looked at.
Balthasar said Agri-based companies and light industrial professionals would be invited to set up their facilities or rent facilities from the CS and use prison labour and their skilled workers to do business.
“Prison labour will be marketed and the returns shared between the prisoners and the state,” he said.
Balthasar said not all prisoners would be automatically eligible for the programme, only those who met a strict criteria after an analysis of their attitude, potential escape risk, crime and offending data, history and their educational attributes.