|Suspended officer, Superintendent Judy Tara|
A Senior Correctional Service (CS) officer who was issued a suspension notice as acting commander of Lae's Buimo Prison has repeated calls for a perimeter fence and for authorities to provide funding to ease the overcrowding in in Buimo.
Correctional Service Superintendent Judy Tara, was served a suspension notice but pointed out that no formal appointments for a commander or acting commander was made since the previous commander took up a post in Port Moresby.
|The main prison compound is manned by three officers|
She has however accepted the suspension as the senior officer responsible but called on the government to increase manpower and fix the root causes for the ongoing prison breakouts:
With more than 60 prisoners still on the run, the Buimo prison administration has come under fire both from the public and from headquarters. Today Judy Tara, the senior officer who previously acted as commander on seven occasions was served the suspension notice.
But there remains uncertainty over the commanders position. Tara says technically, no official appointment was made for the commander’s post .
“My suspension is effective as of today,” Superintendent Tara said. “However, I was not given formal instruments by the Commissioner to take up the [prison] Commander’s role.”
|Clothes left by prisoners who escaped|
|Main prison compound|
Superintendent Tara has raised longstanding issues that contributed to previous jailbreaks and the one on Thursday (25th February).
A perimeter fence is needed. More staff are needed for the prisoner population of more than 700.
Coincidentally, she had just ended discussions with the Lae MP, Loujaya Kouza on Thursday about funding for a perimeter fence when the jailbreak happened.
“This is an issue I’ve brought up many times and also at the Commander’s conferences.”
An investigation report submitted to the Correctional Service Commissioner’s office in 2015 following two successive mass jailbreaks highlighted the problems raised again today.
The key factors that contributed to the breakouts still have not been addressed.