Acting DOC chief: Prison needs realignment

“I will finish the things where I left out,” according to newly appointed Department of Corrections Commissioner Lino Tenorio.

In an interview yesterday, Tenorio said hearing it from the outside and seeing it for himself firsthand enabled him to notice the many things that his predecessors deviated from the actual DOC standing operating procedures.

He promised to fix the things that need fixing and run the department the way it supposed to be run.

“This is a state-of-the-art prison facility and I want to keep it up at that level,” said Tenorio, who was the commissioner when the $20.9-million prison in Susupe began operations in 2008.

Tenorio said his predecessors run DOC differently from what he had started. He did not elaborate.

“I will go back to the basics,” he added.

Tenorio said he is honored when Gov. Ralph DLG Torres appointed him and he is confident that the Senate will confirm him.

Tenorio replaced Georgia Cabrera, who is now the acting director for civil detainees at DOC.

He said he would go back and see where things might have changed since he left in March 2009.

Tenorio said he, DOC director Greg Castro, and some of the staff got everything together to be able to effectively run the state-of-the-art prison. He said it requires correctional officers to be intelligent enough to absorb the standard operating procedures every time they clock in.

Tenorio said he would fix whatever needs fixing for the betterment of the correctional officers as well as for the safety and security of the inmates and what rehabilitation programs and other community outreach programs they can implement.

Torres appointed Tenorio as the new DOC commissioner last Feb. 17.

Tenorio used to serve as deputy commissioner for operations at the Department of Public Safety. Then-governor Benigno R. Fitial appointed Tenorio as DOC commissioner in November 2006.

Fitial, however, terminated Tenorio in March 2009 when the latter announced his bid for mayor of Saipan as an independent candidate and not under the Covenant Party, among other reasons.

Tenorio’s predecessors at DOC were Dolores M. Aldan, Ramon Manfas, Robert A. Guerrero, and Cabrera.

MD: Newly appointed Department of Corrections Commissioner Lino Tenorio promise to fix the prison in Susupe.

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Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at

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  • captain

    The first thing that needs to be done is to conduct a drug test on ALL along with a “sweep” for drugs of the employees area along with the inmates.

    Second is to test all employees in reading and comprehension before you can expect any to be able to follow the written criteria and actually be able comprehend their assigned duties.
    As with DPS and other Govt. agencies these DOC personnel were hired by family name and NOT for their ability to perform. Many are the source of drugs inside that facility.

    The third thing would be to start rehab programs along with some kind of actual work within the prison that would train many for a job outside and also to provide revenue from within as all other penal facilities across the US have.
    Maybe even bring trade school type classes into the facilities. At there you have “captive” participants and there is no excuse for any not to have “transportation”

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