Place: Rove Prison


Rove Prison in Honiara had no cells in the 1950s and 1960s. It was instead a large open compound surrounded by high fences and barbed wire, with a pleasant creek running through it. Security measures were much like what one would expect in any prison. The prisoners were from all over the Solomons, and during the week they did a lot of manual work around Honiara, cutting grass along the roads and in public areas. Solomon Islanders will often say that there is no disgrace attached to a prison term and many prisoners took a fairly philosophical view of it all, appreciating the regular meals. However, there is no concept of long-term deprivation of liberty in traditional Solomon Islands society and this may well be bravado as much as actuality. Prison chaplains visited regularly. Rove still operates today as the main prison in the Solomon Islands and it has now been upgraded by the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) as a full-security prison. (Montfort 1994, 92)

Published resources


  • Montford, C.L., The Long Dark Island, The Desk Top Press, Wellington, 1994. Details