By Vasinatta Yama – EM TV, Port Moresby
Papua New Guinea’s Correctional Service is looking forward to strong commitment in 2015.
At a high level, they will partner with the other two disciplinary forces, for a joint leadership program aimed at setting higher standards in all three disciplinary forces.
In their partnership program, the Correctional Service is exploring options for their qualified officers to undertake cadetship training with defence force cadet officers.
In other commitments, they will establish a Memorandum of Understanding with the Fiji Correctional Service to work in partnership.
The way forward for for Papua New Guinea’s correctional service came after Commissioner Waipo came into office last year.
The challenges, he noted, included a huge debt of over 23 million kina, lack of accommodation for staff, and almost all officers’ houses are deteriorating from lack of maintenance.
However, what stood out was the drop in disciplinary standard of officers while on and off duty.
In line with their ‘way forward’ strategies, last year the government directed Correctional Service to review the national prison system, and the department’s institutional structure and legislative framework that will modernise the institute.
However, the review couldn’t start because the funding was not released.
Meanwhile, Correctional Service Minister, Jim Simatab, urged the institute to prioritise their spending, and there should be a key department policy directive for 2015.
Also this year, Papua New Guinea will see the opening of five new correctional institutions.
These are Hawa in Hela Province, Bundaira in Gulf, Bougainville, Western and Jiwaka Province.
This will also include the relocation of Manus, Kavieng and Sandaun Correctional institutions to new locations, due to town expansion programs.
Meanwhile, Correctional Service has a strong commitment to see the completion of Finschafen, Moreguina and Misima rural lock-ups, and the commencement of Bulolo, Pangia, Baiya and Pomio rural lock-up projects.
For Enga Province, dialogue is still underway to commence the Mukurumanda Correctional Institution.