The director of correctional services in Vanuatu says facilties in Port Vila's high-risk prison are too run down to provide the maximum security needed.
12 inmates escaped from the Stade prison last week, and later turned themselves in.
There have been several escapes from the correctional centre dubbed Container City over the past year.
The correctional services director, Johnny Marango, says the prison was only meant to be used for three years, but has now been used for over five.
"It is meant to be only used short-term while we focus on a new site, but because of the delay the facilities are not really good condition to provide maximum security. The fencing is not really up to the standard to meet the high risk security."
Johnny Marango says a priority for him now is to work on putting up a new perimeter fence around the area escapes usually take place.
He says another reason prison-escapes are common is because most of the staff are not complying with standard operational procedures.