Stephen Pokanis

Govt urged to help correctional services

In a recent outbreak at the Buimo Correctional Institution in Morobe, Commissioner Stephen Pokanis said the burden on officers has increased.

He said over a period of at least three years, a string of prison breaks have occurred – the biggest being the 2017 Buimo mass breakout where 17 inmates were shot dead by prison wardens, three were captured alive and 57 escaped.

Correctional Institution needs help: Commissioner

About 17 detainees dashed for freedom between 10 and 10.30am during visiting hours on Sunday 19th January.

An officer and a convicted detainee lost their lives during the breakout when detainees climbed over the waiting area fence and ran for freedom. The officer was rushed to the ANGAU General Memorial Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Correctional Service Commissioner, Stephen Pokanis, said over the years, similar incidents have occurred whilst calls for help to the government have fallen on deaf ears.

Welcome parade for new CS Commissioner

Present to formally welcome the newly appointed CS Commissioner was the CS Minister Chris Nangoi, who said the decision to appoint the commissioner was based on merit.

“I am honoured to work alongside him and his senior executive team, Commanding Officers and Officers,” stated the Minister.

“I will support him to fulfil the vision and mission priorities outlined in the Marape-Steven priorities for the Social and Law and Justice Sector, and the Correctional Service Plan for Modernization 2019-2022.”

Leave of absence reinstated for prisoners

However, it will only apply to low risk prisoners with genuine reasons.

Last year a ban was put on the leave of absence and an enquiry called after prisoners were found to be serving their prison terms out of jail and in hospitals with some even attending university for studies.

“There was an enquiry that was done on the leave of absence,” said Correctional Service acting Commissioner, Stephen Pokanis.

Confirm acting commissioner: Association

A recent advertisement of the position of the commissioner has prompted a show of support for the acting commissioner.

“Our show of support is not merely a political move but based on result-driven approach,” clarified the CS Employees Association national president, Daniel Mollen.

“I have a duty of care as an industrial representative to ensure harmonious working relationships are established between employees and the management of Correctional Service in order to achieve the organisational goals and aspiration.

Time to end distasteful comments: CS

Acting CS Commissioner, Stephen Pokanis, says he is putting a stop to all these distasteful comments and jokes that usually follow reports of mass breakouts.

During today’s Correctional Service workshop in Port Moresby, the Acting CS Commissioner said the days of incompetence are numbered.

Following the escape of over 30 prisoners at West New Britain’s jail yesterday, Stephen Pokanis said actions will be taken against incompetent officers.

CS Organizational structure is priority for Pokanis

 

Revisiting Organizational Restructure and Prison industry will also be looked at by Pokanis during his three months as Acting Commissioner.

The Deputy Commissioner Corporate Services effectively acts as Acting Correctional Service Commissioner today, taking over from Commissioner Michael Waipo.

His priorities for the next three months, until an appointment is made will include addressing the high absenteeism throughout all the Correctional institutions, educating the officers on their responsibilities as well as addressing welfare issues and pension.

Pokanis takes temporary charge of CS

Minister for Correctional Service, Roy Biyama announced this today, an hour after Ben Nepo went to the media, claiming to be taking over from Commissioner Michael Waipo, whose contract came to an end on Monday, September 24 20-18.

Michael Waipo’s 43 years in the Correctional Service came to an end yesterday, when he reached the end of his term as commissioner, after four years.