Somare responsible for jail breaks

Prime Minister Michael Somare must take personal responsibility for recent jail breaks as he and his government ignored blatant warnings of a crisis in the prison service.

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Michael Somare, was warned in October last year that serious maladministration and corruption in the Correctional Services department would result in jailbreaks.

However, Somare and his National Alliance government choose to take no action which has resulted in the high profile escape of 12 prominent criminals from a top security jail, including some of PNG’s most feared bandits, and a total of 115 prison escapes in the last month.

The brief given to the government in October highlighted the breakdown in the administration of jails across the country; an emerging culture of close relationships between prisoners and prison guards; misuse of funds; poor living and working conditions for prison staff; and a breakdown in relationships between senior commanders.

Somare and his government took no action on the warnings despite the clear need for an urgent response.

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