Parliament endorses Police, Prison merge
A bill to re-merge the Samoa Police with the Samoa Prisons and Correction Services has been approved unanimously by Parliament.
The bill passed during Tuesday's special Parliament session gives effect to the decision of Government to merge the Samoa Police Services and the Prisons and Correction Services, under the management of the Police Commissioner, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil.
The move comes after the biggest prison escape in Samoa's history last month where 36 prisoners broke out of jail.
The Minister of Police, Prison and Corrections Services, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, explained it’s been eight months since the new prison was opened.
“The law has the necessary changes which gives the Commissioner of Police the authority; however it’s well under the authority of the Minister,” said Tialavea.
“The Minister should be informed of any decision making prior to implementation pertaining to the overseeing of the Prison.”
According to the law, the Commissioner of Police becomes the Commissioner of the Prisons and Corrections Services.
The law, in its entirety, endows the Commissioner with the following duties:
“(a) subject to the orders and directions of the Minister, has the function for the administrative command and direction of all members;
(b) has the duty to undertake the management of prisons and prisoners in accordance with the policies of the Government relevant to the management and treatment of prisoners; and
(c) for the purpose of exercising any powers under this Act, has the power to make Commissioner’s Orders applying to members and prisoners; and
(d) is responsible for the control of all prisoners and may allocate them to such prisons as the Commissioner sees fit; and
(e) has the power to designate the classification, purpose and function of any prison; and
(f) is to ensure that an infrastructure development plan and related work programmes are developed and updated to ensure that proper facilities are provided to the Service to meet the requirements and objectives of this Act; and
(g) has the power to make delegations of the Commissioner’s functions and authority by written instrument of delegation –
(i) to any sworn member, if the power can be properly exercised by the sworn member; and
(ii) to any non-sworn member, if the power can be exercised under this Act and any law relating to the financial management of the Service or any other aspect of its lawful administration."