Search ends after two days

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PRISON officers cease their search operation for escapees “a day or two” after a breakout because it becomes difficult to find them once they integrate in the communities, an official says.
Correctional Services Commissioner Stephen Pokanis said warders would stop going out to recapture the 66 inmates who escaped from Baisu Jail on Monday.
Eight of the 102 inmates who broke out were shot dead, 28 were recaptured and 66 still at large.
Pokanis told The National yesterday that the Correctional Service Act restricted prison officers from going out to recapture escapees “after a day or two of their escape”.
“This is a grey area that we will look into in the review of the Correctional Service Act of 1995,” he said.
“There are no provisions in the Correctional Service Act of 1995 to conduct searches outside the (prison) area.”
“The only way prison officers can look for escapees is to be integrated into a police unit and operate under the command of the constabulary.
“Records show that it is very difficult to recapture (escapees) once they are out in the community,” he said.
Pokanis said East New Britain had the best record when it came to families bringing back escapees to authorities quickly.
“The provincial government, people and families of escapees have a high respect for the rule of law,” he said.
He advised the escapees on the run to hand themselves back to police or prison authorities, and complete their jail terms.
“Every detainee has, or would have, a father, mother, husband, wife, children,” he said.
“Families, church leaders, influential leaders in the community can encourage escapees to return to police or correctional institutions.”