Tanumalala Prison

Samoa prisons could use drones to monitor inmates

Kolani Junior Lam, who was serving a life sentence at Tanumalala Prison for the murder of his wife, was pronounced dead at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole National Hospital on February 8.

The coroner, Judge Alalatoa Rosella Viane Papalii, directed the Ombudsman to investigate the circumstances surrounding Lam's death.

Due to the high turnover rate of correction officers at the Tanumalala Prison, the Ombudsman's report recommended the use of drones to assist authorities to monitor prisoners in the labour zone.

British High Commissioner delegation visits Samoa’s Tanumalala Prison

Police Commissioner Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo and Prison's Deputy Commissioner Leiataua Samuelu Afamasaga conducted a brief tour for the delegation.

Samoa Police said, “The visitation was conducted upon the British High Commission’s request; the team of visitors were able to understand and realize the operational processes of the prison sites if British nationals were to be arrested and become inmates here in Samoa.”

Samoan prisoners manage to escape cells

Each cell block houses up to 50 prisoners with several guards stationed outside each block.

Deputy Police Commissioner Auapa'au Logoitino Filipo told Radio Polynesia more than 60 police and fire and emergency services officers responded to the call for help from the prison.

All prisoners have been accounted for and Auapa'au says police have launched an investigation.

It’s been more than a month since prisoners were allowed visitors because of the nationwide Covid lockdown.


Photo file RNZ Pacific  Caption: Tanumalala Prison in Samoa 

Tanumalala Prison inmates encouraged to read and study in new library

And it is hoped that the newly opened library at Tanumalala Prison would provide the environment for inmates to learn and enhance their skills.

The library was funded by the British High Commission and the Samoa Stationary and Books Company.

SSAB General Manager, Tofilau Fiti Leung Wai initiated the project.

The library is in a room that is equipped with an office desk, a computer and more than five shelves filled with books.

Visitors to Tanumalala Prison are allowed to use the new library.


Samoa corrections officers dismissed after jailbreak

The Samoa Observer reports the unnamed officers were on duty when inmate Panapa Va'ai used a ladder to escape over an "anti climb" fence built at a cost of $2million tala.

Deputy Commissioner Leiataua Samuel Afamasaga confirmed that Acting Commissioner, Papalii Monalisa Keti, decided to terminate the services of the Correction Officers in question who he had suspended soon after the escape was reported.

The prisoner however was caught and brought back to custody a few hours after he was reported missing.

Samoa govt denies juveniles are "caged animals"

Supreme Court Vui Clarence Nelson described the situation as such after a judiciary visit of the facilities two weeks ago.

The Samoa Observer reported juvenile prisoners had all been transferred from the purpose-built Olomanu Detention Center to allow older prisoners to stay there and look after a plantation there.

Vui claimed youth were sleeping on the floor without mats or blankets.

However the Minister of Police and Corrections, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, said while the prison was not a hotel, that is not correct.

Former Samoa CJ raises concern about 'criminal condition of juvenile prison

Vui also said the youth looked like ''caged animals'' at the facility.

The Samoa Observer newspaper reported the criticism was contained in an email to District, Supreme and Lands and Titles Court judges.

This followed a judicial visit of the facilities by Justice Vui, District Court Judge Talasa Lumepa Atoa Sa'aga and other officials earlier this month.

Vui said they were horrified to note the conditions in which children were being kept following a recent police decision to turn the Olomanu Rehab Facility at Mulifanua into a Prison farm manned by adult prisoners.

Changes to visitation arrangements at Samoa prisons

A released by Samoa Police, Prisons and Corrections, stated that the curfew for visitation to Tanumalala and Vaiaata has now been lifted.

Family members have been asked to apply and seek approvals a week prior to visitation.

“Any family member who wishes to visit any prisoner or custody at Tanumalala or Vaiaata must obtain an approval from the Police Headquarters (General Policing) in Apia and Tuasivi Savaii.”

Visitation Schedules are as follows;
• Prisoners [Monday, Tuesday and Thursday]
• Custodies [Wednesday and Friday]


Samoa Police seize contrabands from Tanumalala Prison cells

Amongst the items were razor blades, nails, a keyboard, a guitar, cigarette lighters and batteries.

The search was conducted following a mass breakout involving more than 30 prisoners late last month.

Police said the main objective was to eliminate threats posed by contraband within the prison cells and to minimize threats to the lives of prisoners, prison guards and everyone affiliated with the Prison facility.

‘The search was safely executed with contrabands seized from inside police cells.’

Brawl at Samoa's new prison, five injured

Samoa Observer reports Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil had confirmed the brawl saying police confiscated a pair of scissors used in the fight.

"Four prisoners are back at the prison after they were treated for injuries. One prisoner remains at the hospital for further observation," said Fuiavailili.

He said the incident happened in a different cell from the one that staged the recent mass prison breakout.