27 June 2019, Apia Samoa. An historical opening ceremony was held this morning to mark the completion of the Tanumalala prison project that will support improved rehabilitation programs and living conditions of prisoners in Samoa.
In his opening address Prime Minister Hon. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says that the $18million tala project was funded by the Government of Samoa with a 10 percent contribution by Japan.
“This project marks our commitment to the rehabilitation of prisoners which will decrease rates of reoffending,” said Tuilaepa.
“O se nofoaga e fa’amalosiau ai ma toe fausiaina ai olaga ma tu’uitiitia ai le solitulafono.”
The ceremony was well attended by the Samoa Judiciary who had cleared their morning court sittings to attend.
In presenting custodial sentences the Samoa Judiciary often comment on the importance of rehabilitation programs especially for young and first time offenders.
The invited guests were given the opprtunity to walk through the facilities and take photos after the official ceremony.
The Tanumalala prison sits high up on a hill with 180 degree views in an improved environment compared to Tafaigata.
One guest commented on the need to ensure maintenance of the new facilities.
“The cells are very spacious and the bathrooms are so clean, but I do hope that they keep it clean and this will be the case when we visit in a years’ time!”
The Prime Minister confirmed that the Government transferred 500 acres of land to the Samoa Prison Correctional Services for the building site and surrounding acreage for rehabilitation programs.
A choir of prisoners called the Ola Toefuataina led the hyms and later entertained the guests.