This was the first time for the Governor General to visit the Bomana prison hence his visit was well received by the Correctional Service hierarchy and inmates serving time at Bomana prison.
A Correctional Service guard of honour parade was held for the Governor General during which the Governor General acknowledged the work of the Correctional Service staff and officers urging them to continue the positive work they do to remand prisoners in their care.
In his welcome remarks, Assistant Commissioner Steven Pokanis thanked the Governor General for taking time to visit the prison which he says is the first by a Governor General.
“You are the symbol of unity and vibrant leadership over this beautiful country, Papua New Guinea. You are the symbol of our strong Constitution, our democracy, our Government and our people. Your visit this morning shows your deep commitment to grace one of the many Government institutions throughout this nation,” Assistant Commissioner Pokanis said.
Pokanis adds that there are many detainees who have been in prison for a very long time and over the years altered their lives and become model prisoners while in prison.
“I beg you at your level to revive the Power of Mercy, Release on License and Parole system so that outstanding convicted detainees in Correctional institutions can be considered for freedom under the Constitution,” Pokanis said.
In response Grand Chief, Sir Bob said he will seek further advice on the matter.
“The reason you were sent to prison is because you made a mistake. You are not here to be punished but to be corrected… if you have shown that you have learnt from your mistake and can be a good citizen back in your community, than there is no need to keep you here. You remandees can make the greatest impact in our community. You can teach others not to do the things you’ve done and change our country for the better,” Grand Chief Sir Bob said.
Meantime, Grand Chief Sir Bob Dadae said, he is looking forward to visiting Correctional Service institutions and prisons throughout the country during his tenure as the Governor General.
The Bomana prison has 664 detainees and 239 Correctional Service officers.