Instances where prisoners and detainees run away at the Court house at Mulinu’u might soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a project that was opened yesterday.
The Justice and Law Sector’s Prison cells project at the Court House in Mulinu’u was officially opened yesterday. The idea is to protect members of the public from harm.
The Assistant Commissioner of the Ministry of Prisons and Correction Services; Ulugia Sauafea Aumua, said the project is a step in the right direction.
“We now have an agreement with the Ministry of Police and the Court regarding the transportation, handover and documentation of these prisoners,” he said.
Ulugia there are processes now in place with regards to the movement of prisoners.
“So bringing in the prisoners is officially the responsibility of the Ministry of Prison and Correction Services,” he explained.
“The prisoners will be transported from Tafaigata and straight to the Court House. They will be put in their cells to await their Court cases.
“Then they will be taken again to Tafaigata Prison after their court cases.
“But before they were taken to the Police Station.” The project is not quite completed yet.
“The process to go through now is to lock the gate once the car or bus that the prisoners are being brought in has arrived.
“We haven’t quite finished with the gate because we are looking at building wire fences beyond the current gate to avoid any escapees.
“The staff has to stand by just in case someone decides to escape.”
Ulugia said the change will not only protect members of the public, it will make their work easier.
“You know what happened in the past, when a custody prisoner is being bailed at Tafaigata, we were not aware of it. We always come to know about it later on.
“So the change now is that we know of this process from the outcome of the cases. The sector’s initiative has been achieved.”
There are three cells already set up.
“The sentenced prisoners have already been classified but the prisoners that are still in custody haven’t been classified yet but quite often, some of the prisoners brought in, we already know of their histories so in that case based on that, we can assess the risks in terms of security, so we place them in different cells.
“Even the youth and women must be celled separately.