22 Mar 2010

Police in Samoa defend conditions at prison

5:12 am on 22 March 2010

The police in Samoa say the latest human rights report by the US State Department condeming living conditions at Tafaigata prison is unfair.

The Assistant Commissioner of Police, Leaupepe Fatu, says the Government and police in Samoa are doing their best to accommodate the inmates.

He says bathrooms have been upgraded, buildings painted, the food is cooked by the prisoners themselves, and the facilities are what the country can afford.



IN:......This is the best prison we have. That's their standards. The report is according to their standards. But what we have here is the best we can have, so far, and we're working on to fix little bits and pieces to keep it up to standards. We're expecting to build new extra blocks, cell blocks, and that will be built within this financial year.


The Assistant Commissioner says funding has been approved for a prison extension which will have capacity for a further 60 inmates.

He says the human rights of young offenders are considered with a seperate rehabilitation unit on other side of the island from the main section.

He says the Police Commissioner has addressed prisoner concerns about leave, and has granted approval for monthly leave to visit their families, which he thinks does not occur in the United States.