19 Jan 2010

PNG Corrections Commissioner defends himself over jailbreak fallout

9:00 pm on 19 January 2010

The Commissioner of Correctional Services in Papua New Guinea is dismissing a call for him to step down after a dozen prisoners escaped from a jail near Port Moresby.

The group of inmates, including the country's most notorious criminal, broke out of Bomana Maximum Security Unit last Tuesday and are still on the run.

The Post Courier newspaper reported that a senior officer of the department of Correctional Services believes the Commissioner should be blamed.

The Commissioner, Richard Sikani, says the numerous prison break outs are due to a lack of funding and resources to employ sufficient staff and maximise security.

"I have suspended officers who have been stealing money from the department and charged them formally. These are the people actually now going out on my back and trying to ask for my step down. And there are certain officers who I have suspended and charged."

Richard Sikani says he's appealed to the government for more funding for prisons.