Following site visit, Lolo asks for plan to reduce overcrowding at TCF
One of the main problems faced by the Department of Public Safety at the Tafuna Correctional Facility is overcrowding. Last week Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga conducted a site visit to the jail, where he saw first hand how 47 male inmates are all housed in one small building, with 4-5 inmates in one cell and only 13 cellblocks.
Governor’s Executive Assistant Iulogologo Joseph Pereira said Lolo has appointed a Task Force to address the issues which are contributing to overcrowding at the jail.
“The Task Force is to present to the Governor a plan to immediately reduce the overcrowding conditions observed in his site visit. Moreover, the Task Force is to identify contributing factors causing the overcrowding at the Prison.”
Iu said the Task Force is made up of the Commissioner of Public Safety William Haleck, Deputy Attorney General Eleasalo Ale, Governor’s Legal Counsel Steve Watson, Public Defender Douglas Fiaui and the TCF Warden Foifua Foifua Jr.
The task force was given two weeks in which to complete and submit its report for the Governor's review and decision.
Another serious problem at the TCF revealed during Lolo’s visit, is the fact that there are close to 100 foreigners residing there who have been sentenced to depart the territory, yet they have no proper documents to leave. There are also inmates who have finished serving their time, yet refuse to leave jail; and, finally, there are mentally challenged inmates serving time with regular inmates, instead of being housed in a mental facility.
These are just some of issues faced by DPS which contribute to the poor conditions at the prison, he noted.
Acting Warden Foifua Foifua Jr suggested that the Attorney General’s office go after the immigration sponsors of inmates who are incarcerated, because under statute, it’s the sponsors who are financially responsible for these inmates — for their medical expenses, as well as for their food. He said it’s costly for the government to be paying for these foreigners in prison.
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