Martin Balthazar : PNG's Prison Laws Broken

PORT MORESBY - International conventions and Papua New Guinea’s prison laws are being broken as penal systems try to contain growing inmate numbers in country jails.

Correctional Service Commissioner, Martin Balthazar, said the current state of prisons is an abuse of human rights.

“It is an abuse of human rights… any one sentenced by court to go to jail must have decent confinement,” he said.

Papua New Guinea’s penal system hasn’t kept up with the  growing demand for prison space.

The situation has forced those in the correctional service to break the laws and international conventions that guide it.

Martin Balthazar has come under fire in recent months over series of breakout prisons all over the country including Buimo.

While not many understand the problems within the prison system, the breakouts have exposed serious security and welfare problems needing resolve.

Buimo Jail in the Morobe Province has one of the biggest prisons in the country. It has a daily average of 650 inmates and everyday, about 20 new prisoners are sent to the prison. The prison was built in the 1960s to accommodate 400 inmates. 

Yesterday, the commissioner was in Mumeng in the Morobe Province for the opening of a 300 bed rural lock up facility.

Bulolo MP Sam Basil has taken personal interest in the prison development because one third of the prisoners in Buimo come from his district. [EMTV]
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