Plans To Relocate Samoa’s Prison Move Forward

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Moving Tafaigata Prison necessary to protect people nearby

By Lanuola Tupufia

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, April 5, 2015) – The government is moving ahead with a plan to relocate the country’s main prison from Tafa’igata to Leili, Tanumalala. This week, a team of land surveyors will visit Tanumalala to locate the boundaries for the 500acres there that will be allocated for the project.

The decision follows a final meeting between Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, the Minister of Police and Prisons, Sala Fata Pinati and the Commissioner of Prisons and Correction Services, Taitosaua Edward Winterstein, where they discussed the plan.

Tuilaepa told the media that the decision follows concerns about the safety of people living near the Tafaigata Prison.

At Falelauniu for instance, the safety of people living there – including businesses and schools - are constantly threatened by escaped prisoners. For that reason, Tuilaepa said the relocation is absolutely necessary.

"It’s not a good idea to have a prison in the middle of where people live," said Tuilaepa.

"The problem with the fence surrounding the prison is that it cannot stop prisoners from jumping over it."

"So in the upcoming weeks, five hundred acres for the development will be inspected by land surveyors."

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