Baisu jail needs urgent attention: Officer

The Baisu Correctional Service Centre in Mt Hagen is falling apart.

The Western Highlands Province institution is in desperate need of manpower and infrastructural upgrade.

Commanding Officer for Baisu jail, Timbi Kangla, said: “Correctional Service needs help and support from the government as it is where the core majority of the country’s law offenders are being placed into.”

Kangla said the current CS infrastructure was built back in the 1970’s. To date, no new infrastructure has been built; this is excluding incomplete buildings that have been sitting idle because the contractor failed to complete the project, despite payment being made.

He is also concerned about their ageing manpower, stating that there has never been any recruitment done to replace them.

“We need to have new recruits with strength and are energetic but currently, our numbers are not enough.”

The jail is home to prisoners from Enga, Porgera, Jiwaka and Wabag.

“They do not have jails of their own therefore all convicts and remandees are housed in Baisu jail.”

At Baisu, there are about 93 officers, excluding 7 commissioning officers.

“That number is not enough to cater for 400-plus prisoners currently housed in Baisu,” said Kangla.

The number of officers required to work an eight-hour shift is eight, however, only three are working the shifts to keep an eye on the 400-plus inmates.

“This is one of the challenges we are facing here in Baisu jail and the government needs to allow the CS to recruit another 400-500 personnel to maintain manpower and let the old and ageing staff retire.”

Picture courtesy of Radio New Zealand.

Annette Kora