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Present at the formal opening ceremony was Minister for Justice and Attorney General Hon Davis Steven and members of the Law and Order Sector including Public Solicitor- Leslie Mamu, Secretary of National Judicial Staff Services – Jack Kariko and the Secretary for the Constitutional andLaw Reform Commission – Dr Mange Matui.
Chairman of the Parole Board and Secretary of Department of Justice and Attorney General , Dr Eric Kwa said having the other members of the Law and Justice Sector accompany the Parole Board to Giligili provided the opportunity for them to fully appreciate the importance of the role and functions of the Parole Board.
The Commander of Giligili Correctional Institute, Ray Gideon in welcoming the Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Hon Davis Steven, the Chairman of the Parole Board, Secretary Dr Eric Kwa and the others thanked them for making the decision to have their meeting at Giligili Prison.
Commander Gideon said, “we are trulyhonored to have you all here. This is the very first time that a high level Law and Justice Team has come to visit the prison and your presence at Giligili has boosted our morale and encouraged us to continue to perform our duties to best of our abilities.”
Dr Kwa also reminded the prisoners that they are still citizens of Papua New Guinea and not to feel neglected by the system. He explained that “the government has set up a number of pathways available to assist prisoners and that Parole is only one of the ways. The other pathways is the Release on Licence, the third is Remission -based on good behavior and the other avenue is the Power of Mercy”.
“The Release on Licence is a committee of the Minister for Justice and the Power of Mercy is established by the cabinet. He added that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Hon Davis Steven is also concerned about the prisoners and is in the process of having the government endorse committee members to reactivate the Power of Mercy Committee which has not been in existence for the last 15 years.”
In addressing the Correctional Services staff and prisoners the Minister for Justice and Attorney General Hon Davis Steven, said that “the decision of the Parole Board to have the hearing held here in Milne Bay sends a message of hope in ensuring that our systems work and brings back confidence in the legal system”.
Minister Steven also praised Giligili for having one of the best performing prisons on record which was highlighted by the Commissioner of the CS, Steven Pokanis. Minister Steven said he is very pleased that the Parole Board has recognized the hard work of the CS in Giligili Prison.