The new self-governing nation of Papua-New Guinea took one more step towards complete self-government on Friday (25 January).
The new self-governing nation of Papua-New Guinea took one more step towards complete self-government on Friday (25 January). At an official ceremony, administration of the country's corrective institutions was transferred from the Australian Commissioner, Mr. John Purcell, to a Papuan-New Guinean, Mr. Wilfred Bai.
Dr. John Guise, Minister of the Interior, talked earlier to Visnews about the penal philosophy he favoured. He spoke of the need for rehabilitation -- not retribution -- and said it was essential that detainees were encouraged in productive work. In Papua-New Ginea the words "prisoner" and "prisons" are never used.
One example of this positive attitude is Bumana's corrective institution on the outskirts of Port Moresby. At Bumana detainees are engaged in producing school furniture (worth 130,000 Australian dollars a year). A piggery is also operated there. Total annual income from Bumana's enterprises comes to 380,000 Ausralian dollars.
The total number of detainees in Papua-New Ginea is 6,000. According to Dr. Guise recidivism is low and he estimates the number of 'hard-core' criminals at less than ten.