By Theckla Gunga – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Court orders have been issued today (July 17) to psychiatrists at the Laloki Mental Hospital to produce detailed reports for mentally ill inmates, who are remanded at the Bomana Prison.
The orders include the allocation of funding by Correctional Services to repatriate the mentally-ill inmates.
These are two of the four orders issued by Criminal Court Judge, Justice Panuel Mogish today.
Justice Mogish issued the orders after he summoned the Assistant CS Commissioner responsible for the Human Resources Division, the CS Director for Finance and the Bomana Jail Commander to appear before him.
Their appearance was for Justice Mogish to remind them of the responsibilities of Correctional Services when rehabilitating mentally ill inmates.
Judge Mogish said the repatriation of mentally ill inmates is an administrative matter and falls under the powers of the CS Commissioner, however, he described the orders as a rare case on grounds that there has been a long delay.
These orders are a follow-up of a jail visit, conducted earlier this year (2018) which revealed that at least 10 mentally ill inmates were still remanded at Bomana Prison, despite their recommendation for discharge.
Most of these inmates were criminally charged and were in custody at Bomana prison for more than sixteen months. They include inmates from Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Biru jail in Popondetta and Buimo prison in Lae.
Before issuing the orders, justice Mogish told the three that if blanket orders were made, no one will take responsibility of the orders.
Instead, he made the orders personal so the three take on the responsibility to carry out the orders.
The matter returns to court in September for a follow-up on the court orders.