The Assistant Commissioner for Prisons and Correction Service, Ulugia Niuia Aumua, has assured the public that the new Tanumalala prison will be more secure than the Tafaigata prison.
He issued the reassurance in front of the Samoan media yesterday, saying that the Tanumalala prison will have modern facilities and high-tech security systems.
“There will be no plans to rebuild anything here (Tafaigata), all we are doing is ensuring security, and for what had happened here (Tafaigata) we have called for a contractor to come and repair the cells that these guys escaped from."
“We also try and maintain it in a way that is humane."
“At Tanumalala, we are considering all the options in terms of security."
“We are looking at security cameras, sensor pins, but the question is can we afford it? So all these electronic stuff are considered, but at the end, the ratio wire on top of the fences might be the best option."
“So yes, we are considering all the security electronics for us.”
Asked also if they have enough manpower to keep the prisoners from escaping, Ulugia explained they were looking to hire more officers when they move to Tanumalala.
“At the moment we are working with the Ministry of Finance in every budget year because they provide us with 10 officers,” he said.
“This is all part of preparation before moving to Tanumalala and by the time we move, we have all the staff on board."
“So that’s what’s been happening and we have no complaints about the situation."
“Sometimes it’s a different situation where the number of staff depends on the number of prisoners that we have because of the ratio that we work on."
“But if we look at 500 prisoners, then we look at about more than 100 officers for us at Tanumalala."
“In Tafaigata prison alone, there are 260 prisoners with just more than 80 prison officers, so there are still a lot of prisoners and we are trying our best to maintain the security.”
Ulugia reiterated that his will all change once they relocate to Tanumalala.