13 May 2009

Select Committee in Samoa recommends ending prisoner rehab programme

10:32 am on 13 May 2009

A select committee in Samoa chaired by two Government ministers has recommended stopping the Ministry of Police and Prisons' rehabilitation programme.

The programme has come under public criticism after it was revealed that some prisoners were staying with senior police officers as well as government officials.

The prisoners were reportedly treated as servants and did family errands and work in plantations.

There were also reports of prisoners re-offending while living outside of Tafaigata and Vai'a'ata prisons under the programme.

A government source says the committee has recommended to Cabinet to stop and close the programme once the last lot of prisoners, still working outside as part of their sentence, finish the programme.

A committee member says it's better for prisoners to do work such as cleaning the town area, instead of sending them to work for the benefit of a few people holding senior positions in the Government and the public service.