20 Sep 2013

Samoa prison commissioner details problems at Tafaigata

3:29 pm on 20 September 2013

The Commission of Inquiry in Samoa investigating allegations of abuse of power and mismanagement in Tafaigata prison has heard the prison has no reserved facility for mentally ill people.

The acting assistant commissioner at the prison, Tuna'imati'a Fa'a'esea Lautala, says when mentally ill patients are transferred from the hospital prison officers look for a suitable room to keep them.

He says proper facilities are needed.

Meanwhile the acting commissioner says staff at the prison are outnumbered by inmates.

He says while there are 351 prisoners currently serving sentences including 35 women, there are just 35 prison officers.

He says other factors impacting on the prison include the lack of a fence surrounding the facility and the close proximity of the women prisoners' cell blocks to those of the male inmates.