By Julie Badui Owa – EMTV News, Lae
The Correctional Services and the Morobe Provincial Government are planning to establish a new prison in the province to reduce overcrowding at the Buimo Prison in Lae.
Commissioner for Correctional Services, Michael Waipo said the Department consulted with the Member for Bulolo and Minister for Communications Sam Basil, to have the institution situated in Bulolo. A technical team will soon move into the area to assess the place before construction begins.
During the opening of the new Buimo Courthouse in Lae last week, the Commissioner for Correctional Services, Michael Waipo said plans are underway to establish a new prison institution for Morobe Province. This is to help relieve the overcrowding concern at Buimo Prison that has affected the prisoners and the CS officers for over 10 years.
The Commissioner says they have met with the Provincial Government and other authorities to carry out the plan. The overcrowding at Lae Buimo Jail has caused many problems such as escapes, inadequate food supplies and major health problems.
There are currently more than 400 remandees in the prison. A prison cellblock at Buimo has a holding capacity of 40 men. Currently, there are over 100 detainees occupying a cell.
The Buimo Prison should only accommodate 450 prisoners. To date, there are over 1,000 prisoners.
The Buimo Prison now has a new courthouse built within the premises of the prison by the National Judicial Service to help speed up court hearings of the remandees.
However, more prisoners are being brought in by Lae’s Police every day and the number continues to grow.
The prison also accommodates prisoners from the other districts in Morobe. Some also come in from other provinces in the country.