“TAFUNA CORRECTIONAL FACILITY AUTHORITY”
Complaints of inadequate facilities do not justify the routine escaping of inmates from the Tafuna Correctional Facility; the in house assaults, disappearance acts while on work-release or the contraband found in the cells.
The commissioner of Public Safety is mandated to ensure the safety of the public, staff and inmates by maintaining a safe, secure and humane correctional facility. The TCF staff is supposed to be trained and properly equipped to effectively do their job to include being instilled with a sense of responsibility and accountability for their actions.
We the public expect the DPS staff would be imbued with the highest ethical and professional standards with emphasis on personal integrity, dignity and respect for others..
The TCF inmates reflect the attitude of the absence of authority and respect. Due to lack of security measures, some walkout through the front gate; escape through ceilings, jump over the chain link fence and some are told by the guards to run errands out in the community for them. It is reported how cell doors are left open allowing inmates to escape while other cell doors are unlocked, allowing other inmates to brutalize another. Even with their internal investigations it is still a mystery who the key-keeper is.
Several near fatalities have occurred when some inmates had escaped. A taxi driver stabbed in the neck, Bank of Hawaii guard brutalized, break-ins, public drunk and disorderly, alcohol in the cells and disorderly conduct.
Blaming the inmates, for the lack of police training, authority and enforcement is shallow. Being fixated on a new extended state of the arts facility would not solve the TCF problems when there is a lack of integrity and responsible authority.
Instead of painting inmates as being the only problem, I believe the Commissioner and warden should push to have opportunities for self-improvement and rehabilitation efforts for the inmates. Provide them with a chance by participating in educational and vocational programs and on going professional counseling for sex offenders, pedophiles and murderers. Full participation into these programs would help the inmate when he/she becomes eligible to appear before the Parole Board.
Disheartened by the lack of authority; initiatives, concern for the multitude behavioral problems and crisis to include the juveniles transferring into TCF, I decided to seek assistance from anyone that is willing to listen.
There is a need for a Half-way house for inmates to help them transition back into society. (The best place I can think of for those in juvenile detention, to transition under full supervision, would be by the Kanana Fou Seminary staff or students.) Whatever funding from the Criminal Justice Office, would go to the Kanana Fou church organization. Maybe BGCAS would like to partner up for the juveniles. It would be a good transitioning for them. The Sports gurus of the famous American Samoa Rugby Union or the FIFA organization can partner up and help.
Director of Youth and Women’s Affairs, Mr. Pau, Roy Ausage was kind enough to meet with me seeking a solution for the inmates. If his Developmental and Training program is catered towards our youth to the age of 28, how feasible would it be to extend it towards the juveniles and inmates in TCF? The faith based ministries are ministering to their souls. Dir. Pau’s program could help by preparing them to re-enter into society with a skill and a change of self image. It appears he is willing to take on the challenge
Dir. Pau was very supportive and encouraging. His help can surely change the Commissioners attitude of Quote “ …these inmates have an idle mind, they have nothing better to do but to think how they are going to escape.” (samoanews 10/8/13)
Advocate Against Family Violence
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