28 May 2010

Lack of government funding blamed for PNG prison woes

2:13 pm on 28 May 2010

The head of Papua New Guinea's Correctional Services, Richard Sikani, says appalling conditions in the country's prisons are a reflection of the lack of government funding.

This follows comments by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture who completed a fact-finding mission in PNG.

As well as rampant cruel treatment of detainees by PNG police, Manfred Nowak found harrowing conditions in prisons, many of which he says have a general atmosphere of violence and neglect.

However Mr Sikani says for years his requests for more funding and resources from central agencies have gone unanswered.

"It's very difficult for building an institution, to upgrade an institution for three to four million (kina). Every now and then, you ask for money and they say no, that's the only money they can give you, that's the only money in the basket, that's all. When in actual fact, within the reconstruction and redevelopment plan, you need about three hundred million (kina)."

Richard Sikani