Female prison wardens in PNG on notice over links with inmates
Female prison wardens in PNG, on notice over links with inmates, are told they will automatically lose their jobs if such incidents occur again.
Female jail wardens in Papua New Guinea hope they can learn techniques at an international conference being held next year in Port Moresby to rein in rogue officers.
This comes after two alleged incidents involving the notorious bank robber, William Kapris, who has been on the run from jail for the past two months.
Last year he allegedly had a sexual relationship with a female warden, and then when he and colleagues escaped from the Bomana jail, he was aided, allegedly, by a woman officer who gave him guns and other equipment.
At a workshop preparing for next year's conference, the commissioner, Martin Balthazar, told the staff the offending women had blackened the name of the corrections service.
Our correspondent Todagia Kelola says he did not mince his words.
TODAGIA KELOLA: There was a correctional services conference, a women's conference, where the women intended to host the South Pacific CIS Women's Conference, which was to be staged in Papua New Guinea next year in August. And the commissioner was invited to officially open that workshop. Whilst opening the workshop, a really angry commissioner who told them that, look, the correctional services name has been tarnished by women. Because in the first instance, there was a correctional officer who was alleged to have had sexual relations with the notorious bankrobber William Kapris whilst [he was] in jail. And then this year when the escape occurred, another correctional services woman was alleged to have provided prisoners with weapons that they used for their getaway at the Bomana jail. Now, this has really irked the commissioner who blasted the ladies. He did not mince his words. He told them that they should not open their legs to prisoners and that they should be committed to the oaths that they swore on when they became CIS officers. He also told them that he will be very, very strict. Any more people found to be friends with prisoners will automatically be terminated from their jobs.
DON WISEMAN: This conference next this, this Women's Correctional Services Conference coming up next year, it's quite a big deal.
TK: Yes, it is. When the commissioner blasted them in the conference, the ladies were all disheartened. But the senior officers told them not to be disheartened because the damage has been done and the commissioner is so concerned. What they've decided to do now is the South Pacific CIS Women's Conference that is coming up in PNG, which will bring in all Pacific Island CIS officers to PNG, that is where they will also come up with some discussions of such incidents throughout the Pacific. They can share amongst themselves as to how to try to prevent such occurrences happening.
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