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Ex-convict claims appalling treatment at Rove Correctional Centre

AN ex-prisoner has come out publicly with claims of appalling conducts and treatments he has experienced during serving a jail sentence at Rove Correctional Centre.

The former inmate, in a statement issued to this paper, said he was hopelessly muddled by the state of health services, inmates’ food supplies, internal punishment, inmates properties and rehabilitation of inmates.

“Access to health services was often been a difficulty, sometimes it takes two or three days before a nurse can attend to a sick inmate, and by the time the illness could worsen.

“If when an inmate is sick, the nurse would come and see him at his block, what is the reason of having that clinic?

“Is it against the law to call in at the clinic?” he questions.

He claimed that he has observed, and it has been a common trend that food supplies for inmates are taken away by correctional officers.

“Food such as chicken, fish and even taiyo are often taken by some officers while we inmates at Block 1 and Block 2 ate rice and noodle.”

The inmate who requested anonymity in fear of repercussion, went on to claim that properties supplied such as swimming soap, washing soap, toilet paper and sugar which were given to them every Friday were often taken away from them when conducting searches at their wings.

“I did ask them why they took the items away and they replied me that [It’s excessive and inmates might give them to officers which is a violation of the Corrections Act].”

But he said if officers are doing their job, none of such items will be taken out from the gates of Rove Correctional Centre.

The man who claims to have been in Rove for a minor offence, said he was surprised that an institute which is named the ‘Correctional Centre’ is still practising harsh internal punishment within its compound.

“If an inmate is caught in possession of Savusavu, Marijuana or mobile phone will be escorted to that secluded tiny cell and locked up for 23 hours and 50 minutes.

“Sometimes the authority might hear false information of inmate breaking a rule, and without any valuable proof or proper consultation with the inmate, just came and escort the inmate to the secluded cell, later on they would realise that they have been miss-informed,” he claimed.

He adds the officers would not even offer apology to the inmate for their mistake.

“Didn’t they realise the suffering this poor inmate has gone through or experienced for what he did not commit?

“Is this what correctional centre means?”

He claimed that inmates’ properties that are kept at the Prison Affairs Office at times went missing, alleging that officers working at the Prison Affairs office are responsible for this.

He claimed that last year, a substantial amount of money belonging to an inmate which was sent in by his relatives went missing in the Prison Affairs Office.

He adds other items such as packets of cigarette and clothes have also gone missing in the Prison Affairs Office.

“Those responsible officers must face fair justice, didn’t they break the law of the land?

“These questions are raised because at Rove, people stealing bag of betelnut, pot of chicken soup ended up there,” he said.

The Ex-convict purported that Rove Correctional Centre is slow to rehabilitate convicted prisoners but quick to punish them.

“As far as I know, a Correctional Centre is a place where inmates are rehabilitated with programmes, receive some form of training and when they release they may find a job and refrain from involving in criminal activities,” he said.

Attempts to reach the Commissioner of Correctional Service for comments was not successful yesterday, however, the paper is seeking comments from Correctional Service of Solomon Islands (CSSI).