High-risk prisoners to raise awareness in communities

High-risk prisoners from the Bomana Prison, outside Port Moresby, now have the opportunity to make a difference in their communities.

A new partnership between the PNG Correctional Services and PNG Settlement Community People’s Foundation Inc allows for them to come out into the communities to raise awareness.

Given the theme, “Your freedom is important and there’s no freedom in prison”, prisoners have the opportunity to talk about common issues like violence but more importantly, about life in prison.

CS and PNG SCPF believe that high-risk prisoners talking directly with their peers in crime hotspots is another way to minimise law and order issues.

The program, adopted as a CS rehabilitation, consists of two parts, spiritual and awareness.

The first took place last Friday, November 4, which according to the welfare manager, Chief Inspector Frank Ito, received very good feedback from the Nine-Mile community.

This Friday, November 10, will see 20 in total, including 2 women, to give awareness at Erima, under the Flyover bridge. Ito is calling on the public to show support.

“This is part of their reintegration and we ask for the community to accept them,” he said.

This group of high-risk prisoners include two who are currently listed for the death penalty, another two who are facing life year sentences and the others with 10 -20 years on them.

PNG SCPF executive chairperson, Tom Pis Erepo Kapo, commanded the CS for giving this privilege to the prisoners, adding that this was the first time ever high risk-prisoners were allowed into the community.

Chief Inspector Ito said the awareness will be delivered at crime hotspots, following from Erima, they will move to Gordon and then Tabari Place, Boroko.

The total number of prisoners at Bomana currently stands at 600-plus (300 or so high-risk) and the partnership aims to decrease this over the years.

Gloria Bauai