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Port Moresby
January 28, 2021

Prison Breakouts: Remandees Blamed

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Correctional Service Minister, Jim Simatab, says most prison breakouts are orchestrated and carried out by remandees, while awaiting their court appearance.

He said lack of action by concerned stakeholders has also contributed to these breakouts. He was answering questions raised by the Member for Wabag, Robert Ganim, on the recent breakout at Baisu in Western Highlands Province.


Prison breakouts around the country have left many hard core criminals on the loose in recent times.


Today member for Wabag, Robert Ganim, raised this concern during question time in parliament relating to the breakout in Baisu, Western Highlands Province last week.


While acknowledging the breakout, Correctional Services Minister, Jim Simatab said, there were many things that contributed to the frequent break outs, and most of it involved remandees.


He admitted that some of the cases were prolonged and remandees were kept in prisons too long because their files have been lost. He further said 6 months is the normal time for people to be kept as remandees, but some stay in prisons up to years, just waiting for their case to be heard.


He said a prison facility is supposed to cater for convicted prisoners, and not remandees. He said the majority of prison facilities were built during the colonial era, and needed maintenance to cater for the number of prisoners entering these facilities each year.


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