Site for new jail ready for construction
The site where the Koror jail will be relocated is ready for construction, according Division of Capital Improvement Project (CIP) manager Brian Melairei,
In 2013, Palau President Tommy Remengesau issued Executive Order (EO) No. 347 which creates a taskforce to formulate a plan for the relocation of the already crowded jail in Koror.
The current jail is overcrowded with inmates and in such poor condition. The relocation of the jail is also needed as it sits in the middle of the most populous area of the Republic, within short distance of restaurants, hotels and other places that tourists frequent. [restrict]
The jail will be relocated in Obechad, which is located between the boundary of Airai and Ngechesar.
Melairei said the preparation of the site suitability has been completed and CIP is ready to bid out contracts this month for the construction of the new jail.
He said the new jail can accommodate at least 90 prisoners and will have separate facilities for men, women and juveniles.
The prison will also have a better security system to avoid escapes and will have an area where the inmates can grow vegetables and farm.
He said the plan of the prison also include a chapel and a dental clinic.
In Remenegsau’s 2013 Executive Order, he stated that that the facilities at the jail are deteriorated, inadequate and an eyesore, therefore an upgrade is necessary in order to provide humane treatment of the prisoners.
The taskforce was tasked to find a suitable space for expansion; ensure the security of the building, such that inmates will be less likely to escape; and provide for enhanced vocational training, particularly in agriculture and aquaculture.
The taskforce shall also evaluate how much the relocation will cost and recommend an appropriate funding plan to pay for the cost of the jail.
A court ruling in 2014 for former Supreme Court judge Ashby Pate condemned the solitary confinement facility inside the jail which led officials to further support relocation of the jail and construction of new facilities. (Bernadette H. Carreon) [/restrict]