The National, Tuesday, May 17, 2011
AN K83 million super-jail, the biggest in the Pacific, is being built at Baisu, Western Highlands, Correctional Services Commissioner Richard Sikani says.
Sikani said, in addition, there were plans to turn the Kerevat and Bomana prisons into super-jails as well.
Speaking at the pass-out parade of 115 warders last Friday, he said criminals were using sophisticated means to execute jail break-outs, break-ins and escapes.
That, he said, left the service no choice but to upgrade its facilities.
Sikani cited the recent Bui-Iebi forced jail escape and the William Kapris escape as examples of prisoners and criminals using sophisticated means to escape from prison.
Sikani said security cameras, body scanners and metal detectors would be installed at the new prison at Baisu.
“CS has the 10-15 year demolition and reconstruction plan already in implementation,” Sikani said.
“This has kicked off in Beon, in Madang, Buimo in Lae, Biru in Popondetta, and recently the ground breaking ceremony on the super-jail in Baisu,” Sikani said.
He said the Baisu project “is the single biggest project the CS and its contractors are working on with K83 million to be spent over a period of seven years”.
He said work had already started this year with K10 million used and SMEC engineering engaged to design the prison and start the groundwork.
Sikani said funding for the project came from the Australian government through AusAID and counterpart funding was made available by the PNG government.
He said once completed the Baisu super-jail would be able to hold up to 2,000 prisoners and a staff of 1,500.
He said the facilities at most CS institutions were built in 1950s and 1960s and had deteriorated.
He said he hoped to transform all provincial jails and rural lock-ups into modern facilities.