Cabinet yet to be briefed on relocation move

The Cabinet is yet to hear from the Ministry of Prison and Correction Services on the rational behind the decision to relocate the juvenile detention center from Oloamanu to Tanumalala. 

Last week the Minister for Prison and Correction Services, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, told Samoa Observer that it is logical to move the center to Tanumalala.

But Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi says there is a good reason behind the Government’s decision to build the center at its current location. 

The said land in Oloamanu cost the Government $9 million.

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During his weekly press programme recently, Tuilaepa said they are waiting for the reasons behind the move. 

“There are certain reasons why the juvenile center is located at its current location right now. There are logical reasons why the juveniles are separated from the adults.

“The minors should not be held together with the adults; the mix-up will not have good results. Also the rehabilitation programs for adults are different from the adults,” he added. 

However, recently Tialavea said the main concern received from members of the public — whose children are housed at Oloamanu — is that the center is further inland and too far for a lot of families.  

“To date we only have one minor incarcerated at Oloamanu and it is just too far inland, and we cannot continue this operation as its current location hence the move to relocate the center,” he said.

When he was asked why these issues were not considered by the Government, prior to making the $9 million investment, he said: “I don’t know as the juvenile center was established before I came on board. I honestly don’t understand why the juvenile center is based in Oloamanu, it is severely far to get to it and it’s located up in the mountains.”

There have already been cases of families getting lost while trying to locate the center in order to visit their children.

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