By MALUM NALU
Correction Service Minister Sailon Beseo has highlighted the urgent need to improve on certain management deficiencies and physical state of jail facilities around the country.
Addressing a parade at Bomana Jail outside Port Moresby last Thursday – attended by outgoing commissioner Richard Sikani, acting commissioner Nick Balthazar as well as representatives from other disciplined forces - he said these needs must be addressed as matters of urgency.
“I am concerned that a report on CIC in 2007 stated that 38% of the 1,300 CIS staff are 50 years or older (they have reached retirement age), and by 2012, 50% will have to be put on compulsory retirement,” he said.
“I have been advised that there was no retirement since 2007 until only recently and realise that numbers must be down, considering exists through deaths, resignations, medical and voluntary retirement and disciplinary dismissal.
“The CIS needs a total ‘shake-up- of its management and functional and line managers, as we have many hardcore and repeat offenders and when they escape or are not rehabilitated properly, this can expose the country to serious security threats and law-and-order problems.
“I will discuss that later but in interim, the government focus is to rebuild the capacity and manpower strength.
“The focus of the government is to build up a disciplined force that will contain law-and-order and protect its citizens from violence and harm.
“As the country develops and grows, changes occur and so CIS must also move to embrace these changes and work on its core functions and responsibilities but also at the same time contribute to the development and the progress and prosperity of our people and country.”
Beseo also spoke about:
- Retirees’ pension fund and Section 45A benefits;
- Renovation and expansion programme;
- Reforming CIC management and jail system;
- Recruitment of officer cadets and promotional training programme;
- Prison industry and rehabilitation programmes; and
- Pay structure, allowances and overtime.