Baisu Jail Commander, Chief Superintendent Timbi Kaugla, has told EMTV News that the negligence of some Provincial Governments in the Highlands Region is one factor of prison overcrowding.
Kaugla said despite being a National Institution, the prisoners are their people and financial and moral support is needed to rehabilitate them.
The Jail Commander’s comments came after a mass breakout last Monday at Baisu Jail.
Around 12pm 100 remandees and two convicted prisoners escaped in broad daylight.
Guards were outnumbered, and called for back up from police, and shot dead 8, recapturing only 28 of them, 5 of whom escaped later while receiving medical treatment at the hospital. Seventy-one escapees are still at large.
Kaugla said almost 60 per cent of the total number of prisoners at Baisu Jail had been brought in from Enga Province, due to no prison to accommodate them back in their province.
Some are brought in from Jiwaka.
“So that’s one of the things the Provincial Governments supposed to assist this jail to hold their prisoners, in this institution or province,” Kaugla said.
Kaugla said this is a setback for the Enga Provincial Government; to start building prisons to accommodate their inmates, as they already have an institution.
“Instead of coming down to Baisu, they’re supposed to build their own institution to house their prisoners. It is overcrowding here, because of their prisoners.” Kaugla said.
Baisu jail currently has a total of 318 inmates both convicted and on remand.
Kaugla says they will stop accepting prisoners from other provinces, because to date, he has never seen any support from Provincial Governments from Enga, Jiwaka, and Western Highlands Province itself.
“Probably, in the near future, we might stop prisoners coming in from other provinces like Enga. Provincial Governments are boasting about education, agriculture, how about law and order? Pumping money into Correctional Service,” says Kaugla.
Kaugla questioned if Provincial Government’s have plans to rehabilitate those who are outlaws in the society, so that the society can live in peace for development to take place.
Jiwaka Governor has plans to build a new correctional service, but is still waiting for funding.
Enga Provincial Government has already built a CS institution with warder’s houses, but is yet to build accommodation to house their prisoners.
By Vasinatta Yama, EMTV News, Mt Hagen