Jails Are Over Crowded, Says CS

Picture Caption: Acting Correctional Services Commissioner Stephen Pokanis. Picture By Lina Keapu.

By STARZA PAUL

The capacities of prisons around the country are overcrowded yet prison commanders try their best to contain prisoners, says Acting Correctional Service Commissioner Stephen Pokanis.

Commissioner Pokanis told Sunday Chronicles recently that, prison institutions in the country can cater for less than 5000 inmates yet the current figure is more.

“The capacities that prisons have around our country are less yet we are able to contain more than 5000 inmates and we should commend our hard working station commanders and officers.”

“There are many incidents of prisoners escaping, shortage of rations, deterioration of jails and many urgent issues that affect our prisons due to insufficient factors like funding,” he said.

Mr Pokanis explained that the Annual Commanders Workshop held every year where the department responsible, Correctional Service does not take these issues lightly.

“We are very serious about these issues and we are giving our best as well to effectively these run government institutions,” said Mr Pokanis.

The Commissioner said that during such Annual Commanders Workshops, the jail commanders from Momase, New Guinea Islands, Highlands and Southern regions gather to consult to each other and prioritize what work to do and this year 2018 they discussed areas that could be prioritize in 2019.

He said that out of the workshop, they will plan the activities of Correctional Services to do in 2019 and the responses will be given to everyone in 2019.

“Priorities we raise, confirm will be implemented in 2019 and each institution (jail) will propose and prioritize two priorities to implement with the limited resources we have.”

“We have to plan and prioritize because resources are very scare and taking into consideration the decline in economic activities certain projects have to been prioritized and concentrated upon.”

Mr Pokanis said that where some projects undertaken currently are not working have to be left out and give preferences to those which can work and are working.

“From projects such as gardening, some of our jails have been able to produce and supply food to their inmates for example.”

“So If they are good at gardening than they can prioritize that and concentrate in it,” he said.

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