The National, Tuesday July 2nd, 2013
By BENNY GETENG
FEMALE prison officers have been urged to take heed of Correctional Services Commissioner Martin Balthazar’s call for them not to engage in sexual and other illegal practices with prisoners.
The acting commander of Buimo jail in Lae, Supt Judy Tara, said the commissioner’s call to female officers at a workshop last week should be the “turning point” for those officers who were involved in such activities.
“This report will not tarnish the good efforts of many female officers against the very few ill-mannered who are spoiling the reputation of the Correctional Services,” Tara said, referring to published reports of the commissioner’s call to his offices to refrain from having sex with prisioners.
“The report is a turning point for those bad-minded and ill-thnking female prison officers and also a lesson for others.
“Meanwhile, other hard-working female officers should not be discouraged by the report since it only signifies a minority in the force who are spoiling their good efforts.
“I am encouraging female officers in all correctional institutions around the country to come together on a mutual understanding and deal with the situation for the betterment of the institution.
“The actions of those few ill-minded female officers at Bomana do not represent all other female prison officers in the country.
“I urge the others to maintain the good name and discipline at all times.”
Tara’s comment came at a workshop organised to prepare for the 2014 Pacific Islands Regional Corrections Women Conference in August to be hosted by the PNG Correctional Services.
Three resolutions formulated and presented to the commissioner were:
- Terminate the services of female prison officers involved in activities such as sex with 50% of their final entitlements forfeited to the state;
- Equal employment opportunity desk to be strengthened to empower female officers when dealing with bad behaviours; and
- The Correctional Service develop a policy on family sexual violence.