Prisons integral part of justice cycle

Police holding cells and prisons, form an integral part of the Criminal justice cycle.

Without the holding cells and prisons operating, the criminal justice court system cannot work effectively, says Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia.

He said that there are provinces that do not have fully functional jails and people should be concerned, as the courts are as well.

“If these things are not addressed by the executive government, fully, then the courts may be compelled to take their own actions, to ensure that provincial jails are established in each province and they are fully functional.

“There must be an operating jail in every province to keep prisoners and remandees. If that is not there then there’s an integral component of the law and justice cycle or criminal justice cycle not complete,” the Chief Justice said.

Last week remandees at the Jomba Police cell in Madang were released on orders of the National Court because they were kept in very poor condition.

Authorities have since been ordered to fast track the rehabilitation of the facilities at the Police station.

Recently Human Rights Administration track judge, Justice David Cannings said women and juveniles accused of committing a crime must be locked up in separate confinement cells.

Unfortunately in Papua New Guinea, very few police facilities have separate lock ups for females and juveniles.

He said it is a very bad situation for females and juveniles who are particularly vulnerable if they are in custody.

“Not so much when they go to a jail, all the prisons have separate facilities, but police lockups, in the smaller centres, even in my town, Madang, we don’t have separate facilities,” Justice Cannings added.

Sally Pokiton