10 Dec 2013

Overcrowding in American Samoa prison

2:56 pm on 10 December 2013

A task force has been appointed in American Samoa to address the issues causing overcrowding in the territory's only male jail.

It follows governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga's first visit to the Territorial Correctional Facility last week where he described the facility as a dumping ground used by police.

The jail was originally built to house about 100 inmates but it now has a population of over 200.

The governor has also instructed the director of Public Works and the Commissioner of Public Safety to get moving on building a new jail house.

The commissioner Bill Haleck says plans for the new $3.5 US million dollar facility, which will house about 100 inmates, are being reviewed.

"So we're working on those suggestions and making sure that when we build this building it is adequately built to house and accommodate the inmates so that the over crowdedness problem that we have, we won't have that anymore."

Bill Haleck says the new prison, which will be built near the current facility, will house inmates who've already been sentenced, while inmates with cases still pending will stay in the existing jail.