Waipo issues instructions on Ban of LOA

A total ban of on the prisoners’ leave of absence (LOA) as declared by prime minister, Peter O’neill has prompted the correction service commissioner to issue strict instructions to be carried out immediately in all prisons across the country.

In a statement released by Correctional Service Commissioner, Michael Waipo stated that failure to monitor and supervise detainees on LOAs falls on the Commanding Officers, Manager Operations, and Duty Officers.

Waipo issued the following Instructions to effect the Prime Minister's decisions for Commanding Officers to;

1.            Stop issuing LOAs to any detainee;

2.            Compile reports on all LOAs issued last year;

3.            Detainees on medical LOA must be returned to CS institutions;

4.            Commanding officers to arrange with provincial hospitals for doctors to visit and conduct medical check-ups for detainees at the institution;

5.            Approval for LOAs by commanding officers is now withdrawn; and

6.            Regional assistant commissioners take full responsibilities to approve LOAs in consultation and in co-ordination with commanding officers

The ban is a result of the ongoing abuse, ignorance and total break-down in the command and control by Commanding Officers at Correctional Institutions for not consistently providing honest supervision of the LOA processes, from considering the request, to approving and to selecting of officers to escorting detainees out of the Institutions.

He said what has been reported so far is a total disgrace and must not be allowed to continue in Papua New Guinea Correctional Service.

Waipo said Deputy Commissioner Operations and all Regional Assistant Commissioners must take full responsibility to make sure that operational matters at the Correctional Institutions must not be compromised.

These include the disgraceful conduct of officers in failing to strictly police the LOA system.

He adds that he will be commencing consultation with Attorney General to immediately look at Section 100 and 101 Of the Correctional Service Act 1995, with the possibility to repeal these two sections as officers at Institution level do not have the capacity to implement this consistently and further adding that reports on LOAs from Correctional Institutions for 2017 must reach his Office no later than end of January 2018.

Commanding Officers failing to provide these reports will be dealt with severely.

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