AMERICAN SAMOA GOVERNMENT
September 29, 2016
NEW INMATE FACILITY DEDICATED AT TAFUNA CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
A newly constructed prison building at the Territorial Correctional Facility in Tafuna was dedicated and officially opened. The one story concrete building is capable of housing up to 114 male inmates and cost a bit more than $3 million dollars to build.
Attending the dedication ceremony were Department of Public Safety leaders and staff, Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga and First Lady Cynthia Moliga, Lt. Governor Peleti Mauga, Senate President Gaoteote Palaie and several members of the Fono.
In opening remarks, DPS Commissioner Save Liuato Tuitele expressed his gratitude to Governor Lolo for his foresight in making the project a reality. Next to speak, Governor Lolo Moliga explained that the idea of constructing a new prison building was born after he visited the TCF in 2013 not long after taking office. He described the terrible conditions and overcrowding he witnessed and that he knew the problem needed to be addressed. At that time, initial construction cost estimates was over 15 million dollars, but through discussions with the local representative of the Department of the Interior and several other local agencies, plans were conceived for a more affordable facility to address the problem. Department of Public Works personnel were instructed to construct a facility in accordance with Samoan sensibilities. The Governor voiced pride in the fact that the facility, a first of its kind, was designed by a local architect.
Governor Lolo continued his remarks with thanks to the Department of the Interior, contributing ASG agencies, and the people of American Samoa for their support in providing this building for the prisoners who are “mothers and fathers, sons and daughters” of American Samoa despite the consequences they now face. He affirmed that we all must lean on our cultural and Christian values in all of our endeavors.
The Governor next thanked Commissioner Save Liuato and the TCF staff saying that he knew their jobs had many challenges, and although the new facility would address a problem, there were still many others to face. Governor Lolo encouraged the staff to be honest, hardworking and compassionate in the performance of their duties.
In closing, Governor Lolo thanked government and church leaders, members of the Fono and the people of American Samoa. First lady Mrs. Cynthia Moliga then cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the new inmate building, followed by a tour of the facility.
The new prison building holds 23 standard cells each designed to hold 4 inmates, one cell that is in compliance with the American Disability Act, 10 double occupancy maximum security, showers, a day room, a security station, a processing area, laundry room and visiting rooms. All jail cells are furnished with bunk beds, desks and other equipment. There is a surveillance video system that covers both the inside and outside of the facility.
B & J Construction, owned by Mr. Diosdado Guevarra was the contractor for the project and funding was provided by the Department of Interior through the CIP Program.