29 Mar 2012

Vanuatu's Corrrectional head says prison staff do not follow protocols

8:30 am on 29 March 2012

The director of correctional services in Vanuatu says part of the reason the high-risk prison in Port Vila is prone to escapes is because staff are not following proper protocol.

12 inmates escaped from the Stade prison last week, and later turned themselves in.

The correctional services director, Johnny Marango, says the regular escapes at the prison are due to a combination of run-down facilities and staff not following the rules.

He says prisoners sometimes trick officers into letting them out of their cells at night, by blocking the toilets in their cells.

"These detainees they do have the attitude of breaking up the toilets in the high-risk units, so every now and then we have to replace them. So that's why we have these regular escapes because most of these toilets have problem, at night they would tend to ask to go to toilet, and then that's the time to threatened the officers. One of the requirements is that they are not allowed to be unlocked at night."

Johnny Marango says it's difficult to provide training for staff because these sessions can mean a lack of staff on the ground.

But he says adding more man power is a priority of his.