Madang’s Beon Correction Institute is still on lockdown since the intital 14 days lockdown started as a response to the Global pandemic, COVID19.
Commanding Officer Superintendent, Andrew Polis, says they have a contingency plan already in place as a precaution measure in the event if and when there is a case.
However, the commanding officer’s concern is on the safety and wellbeing of detainees currently detained at the jail due to overcrowding.
Beon Correctional Institute has imposed a complete closure of its main gate with a check point established to monitor movement of people and vehicles in and out of the area.
Rostered shift duty officers assigned to Guard and maintain security at the check point is on 24 hours basis with a complete stop on all visitors from entering Beon.
They have also suspended all their section workers mostly inmates from the Maximum-security unit and reduce the number of detainees assigned to daily work.
“We make sure no unauthorized persons or vehicles entre Beon. Even the inmates are also locked in their cell blocks.
Beon needs more assistance for the COVID19 technical team and other relevant authorities in terms of supplying them with PPE kits or provide them with materials for them to sew their face masks.
The Juvenile Compound will be cleared and make available to take in new prisoners who will be transferred in once the courts resume.
The Juvenile compound mess will also be sealed off from the Maximum-Security Unit mess so inmates from the two compounds can be separated.
“Since the intital lockdown period we moved inmates from the MSU and created the area as a quarantine center for taking in new prisoners when they come in. New prionsers will be quarantine there for two weeks before they can be released to join other inmates in the other cell blocks after medical checks are done.”
Transporting of Remandees to and from the District court will be provided by police which is the current process followed while those attending National court will be accomdated by CS officers.
While a proposed plan is in place to release low risk detainees through probation, release on license and power of mercy that will be done through support from higher authorities.
By Martha Loius, EMTV News, Madang