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TCF guards deny reports of inadequate water and food shortage

Territorial Correctional Facility, TCF

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA —DPS personnel working at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) have denied claims by some inmates and their family members, that there is a shortage of food at the local prison, and there is no running water in some parts of the facility.

According to at least two guards who spoke to Samoa News yesterday, the food supply is adequate, and there is running water at the TCF.

Earlier this week, media reports noted that family members of several inmates have called on the Dept. of Health to visit the TCF to assess the conditions there.

But TCF personnel insist that there is "more than enough" food at the prison, and despite reports that inmates are having to haul buckets of water because the toilets can't flush, one TCF guard told Samoa News that the bathrooms are "flushing just fine".

One guard said the inmates who are 'picky' and don't want to eat what is available, are the ones complaining, because they want to eat chicken and other menu items that are not accessible at TCF. As for the water situation, the guard said the toilets are working fine.

According to the guard, some of the prisoners are looking for an excuse to leave the facility. The guard said there was a time when a physician from LBJ used to stop by to check up on the prisoners. But the practice stopped as the inmates were hardly ever sick and therefore, the doctor found it unnecessary to stop by.

Thereafter, said the guard, inmates started asking to go to the LBJ Medical Center for "medical assistance." But when they get to the hospital, they get a clean bill of health and the doctor says "they are fine, there's nothing wrong with them".

The prisoners are escorted by TCF personnel to the hospital and the wait time to see the doctor is usually long, at least a couple of hours.