Monday, April 23, 2012

Kapris escape report tells all

Source: The National, Monday 23rd April 2012
CRIMINAL mastermind William Kapris and 11 others “walked out” of a jail system that had long ceased to serve its purpose of rehabilitating prisoners, a report into the January 2010 escape reveals.
Indeed, the “strictly confidential” report concluded that long periods of neglect, maladministration and a serious break-down in command and control had led to a situation where the jail system served as a “criminal recruiting and training ground” from where they escaped at will.
Single prisoner escapes occurred daily throughout the country and were not reported, according to the investigation report.
“The problems are now entrenched in the prison system to the extent that the concept of correcting and rehabilitating criminal behaviour has taken the backstage,” the report stated.
“Instead, our prisons have become training and recruiting grounds for organised criminal gangs. The situation is such that the biggest prison in the country, Bomana, is now referred to as the ‘Bomana university’ where young men jailed for minor offences are trained and mentored into hardcore criminals by the time they are released or break out.”
The report said crime syndicates had developed within the jail system involving Correctional Service officers, members of the police force and criminal masterminds such as Kapris which “threatens the disintegration of the entire prison system” and had placed the “entire prison system in serious trouble”.
“This had significant bearing on general law and order and national security of the country,” the report said.
The National Security Advisory Committee, which advises the National Executive Council and the prime minister on national security issues, commissioned the report on Jan 13, 2010, one day after Kapris and 11 others walked out of the separate confinement unit (not maximum security unit as is popularly known).
The report, entitled “Report on Investigations into the Bomana Prison Escape of William Nanua Kapris and 11 Others”, now formed part of a policy submission to cabinet to reform and build capacity in the country’s Correctional Service.
The escape itself was well planned and executed with assistance from within the jail and outside, the report revealed.
Indeed, the collaboration and assistance provided to Kapris seemed to extend to two previous escapes. And information contained in the report seemed to compromise the previous command structure (see above story).
Police, National Intelligence Organisation and CS’s own intelligence officers informed the CS command of an impending major jail-break but no preventative action appeared to have been taken.
On Jan 11, a day before the escape, a duty CS officer climbed the communication tower and turned off the communication jammer, making it possible for inmates to communicate by mobile phones with people outside prison. And it is plausible that Kapris did so.
On Jan 12, an epileptic fit by a juvenile inmate effectively provided a perfect opportunity for the acting security manager and several other critical officers to be absent from the SCU area where the escape was staged for several critical hours.
After the escape, police arrested and charged three CS officers with assisting in the escape.
The escape car (a blue Fifth Element Reg. No. BCE 451) was parked within the inner boom gate area close to the SCU exit gate at 10.30am. And, although the officer in charge of reception was informed of the suspicious presence of an unauthorised vehicle, no action was taken.
Helen Mark Kuipa, who was initially identified as Judy Nandape, walked from the car casually to the prisoners’ kitchen area and later walked straight to the outer gate.
She was allowed without question into the SCU area. The escape was triggered at that point.
The time it took for the escape was between 9.30am and 10.45am when the alarm was raised. But the planning took longer.
Twelve prisoners escaped as if to coincide with the date - Jan 12

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