P.M. wants fitter prison guards

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has slammed the “poor management” of the Tafa’igata Prison as one of the reasons prisoners keep running away. 

He has also hit out at what he has described as unfit Prison Guards, saying they need to get in shape so they can catch the prisoners.

On Wednesday, Lagalaga Misiluki, became the latest prisoner to escape.

However he was recaptured on Wednesday evening while Uili Manuleleua who escaped late last year is still on the run and his whereabouts is still unknown. 

Tuilaepa said the information relayed to him was that Lagalaga was one of the cooks. 

“There were four Correction officers present when the prisoner walked past them and escaped from jail,” he said.

“I have advised the Commissioner to put the Correction officer through some exercise or physical activities. 

“They should be dropped off in Apia at 7a.m. and they should run all the way to Tafaigata. 

“At another time the Correction officer, who escorted prisoners, they parked at prison and the inmate opened the door and took off running. 

“And the correction officer ran after the inmate but was unable to catch him because he looks like a sumo wrestler. 

“They should retire,” said Tuilaepa. 

Tuilaepa said he is unhappy about the fact prisoners keep escaping at will.

“I am shocked at the Commissioner for hiring them,” he said about the unfit Prison guards. “They should retire because it’s useless for them to work. 

“My challenge to the Minister is to remove those Correction officers who are like sumo wrestlers and are weak.”

He then commended the Minister for moving ahead with the new prison, given that it was not an easy task. 

“I commend him for looking ahead and acting on the plans for the new prison, also the project would have not been possible it the Ministry of Finance was not on board and for making the funds available to build the new prison. 

“The relocation of the prison from a residential area was something that had to be done to protect the public. 

“The area where the new prison is located is isolated and far away from the public and the new building is modernized and its structure is quite strong and firm.”

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