Prisoners get Cabinet approval to clean town area

Cabinet has given the green light for prisoners at the Juvenile Detention Center at Oloamanu to clean the streets of Apia.

This was confirmed by the Minister of Prison and Correction Services, Ti'alavea Tionisio Hunt in a recent interview with Samoa Observer.

He said he has begun to see "changes" within the town area and credited the work of the prisoners from the centre. Out of the 40 inmates at the centre, 20 are selected to clean various streets in the Samoan capital. 

“It has been five-weeks since the prisoners cleaned the streets in the town area. As you can see, there has been changes within the town area and I was able to witness for myself the work conducted by the prisoners.

“I have to clarify that only the prisoners at Oloamanu – who are low risk meaning with good behavior that are selected – but not the prisoners at Tafaigata and also there has been no cases of escapees from Oloamanu.

“Out of 40 prisoners, 20 are selected daily to clean for five days in the week during the early hours of the morning around 5:00am from Mulinuu to Vaiala, and main streets like Falealili Street going towards Vaea Streets,” he added.

Ti'alavea also said that the prisoners also cleaned the path to the hospital and the hospital grounds past Vaea Street.

“But the selection will be from different individuals and it will not be the same group every day.

“It is because there are days when they attend rehab and trainings, like the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (CCCS) ministers conducting some of their trainings in computer studies.

“There will be five police officers accompanying the prisoners as they do their work, but prisoners cleaning the town area is not a new initiative,” he added. 

He also told this newspaper that in previous years, prisoners were in charge of cleaning the town area, but that job was later awarded to contractors but that arrangement didn't work. 

“If it worked then it would not have been given back to us – and despite one of the radio stations acknowledging Samoa Tourism Authority for cleaning the town area during early hours – but in fact it is thanks to the prisoners.

“At the moment we requested for $60,000 that will be used in purchasing equipment just to start off," he added.

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