Vanuatu's Minister of Justice, Bakoa Kaltongga, has signalled a new government policy to send inmates from outer provinces, serving time in the two main urban prisons, back to their home islands.
The Daily Post newspaper reports that the government aims to discourage gang culture developing in the Correctional Centres in Port Vila and Santo.
Mr Kaltongga says some inmates, who stand out as leaders of gangs consisting of inmates from the same province, have been instrumental in recent prison escapes.
Vanuatu is on a New Zealand aid-assisted programme to upgrade its old French and British prisons.
A string of prison escapes in the last two years has now prompted the government to consider building jails in all provinces.
The government is looking at a new facility on Tanna where inmates from Tafea could be sent to serve their terms.