27 Apr 2021

Lack of food, overcrowding among issues at prison

10:30 am on 27 April 2021

Politicians have criticised conditions at American Samoa's Territorial Correctional Facility, following a visit there last week.

It's believed that the Commissioner of Public Safety, Lefiti Pese, was not aware of the visit by the House Public Safety Committee.

A full report is to be presented to the House Speaker.

According to the representatives, urgent reform is needed at the facility.

They said before reaching the Bravo Unit they could smell urine and body odor.

American Samoa has opened a new detention facility at the Territorial Correctional Facility.

American Samoa has expanded its Territorial Correctional Facility Photo: RNZI Monica Miller

The cells were described as dark, there was no ventilation and there were up to eight men in a cell.

They were also told of the lack of food and basic sanitary care at the prison.

Committee Chairman Avagafono Maiava was unable to attend but lawmakers who made the visit included Logoituau Mark Atafua, Alex Jennings, Mike Asifoa and Andra Samoa.

The TCF warden is now former Deputy Commissioner Falanaipupu Taase Sagapolutele.