USDOI/CIP approve $2.6 million for new prison facility
The US Department of Interior, Capital Improvement Project (CIP) Program has approved $2.6 million to construct a new two-story building to house male inmates at the Territorial Correctional Facility compound in Tafuna. The project is to replace some of the old existing structures and to address the overcrowded conditions at the TCF. The project will commence later this year in spring.
During his confirmation hearing before the House of Representatives last month, Police Commissioner William E. Haleck told lawmakers that his "number one priority" during his tenure as head of DPS will be the construction of a new prison, saying that while people incarcerated at TCF are lawbreakers, that does not mean they have to be treated like animals.
According to Haleck, there are too many prisoners and not enough space at TCF to accommodate them. "Prisoners should be treated with respect," he said. "We locked them up, and we are responsible for taking care of them." With the announcement of a new prison facility came a request from Rep. Vailoata Amituana'i who, during a House hearing, suggested that the name for the TCF be changed from "correctional facility" to "maximum security prison."
Commissioner Haleck did not offer a direct response, only saying that he had not given much thought to a name change for the prison facility.
To get an idea of the statistics for TCF, listed below are figures submitted by the DPS in its first quarter performance report for fiscal year 2013:
Inmates Oct Nov Dec
Average number of inmates 159 169 175
Pending cases 46 54 60
Arrests 97 83 124
Arrestees released (time expired) 73 62 120
Released on parole 0 0 0
Immigration deportation 5 3 0
Transported to court 174 150 190
Transported to Hospital 21 11 7