A-G refutes claims

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at Parliament. Picture: RAMA

ACTING Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has denied claims by the Opposition that inmates serving custodial sentences at the Nasinu Corrections Centre were being recruited as full-time corrections officers.

While responding to a question by Opposition member Viliame Gavoka on the issue yesterday, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said following discussions with Corrections Commissioner, there were only two people who went through similar training that corrections officers went through, but it was only for disciplinary purposes.

“The way the system works is that should they wish to express a desire to be trained on how the corrections officers are trained, then they bring them in and interview them,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“There’s a psychologist that assesses their psychological make-up and the parents’ consent is also sought. They are trained, but they are not recruited. There’s apparently another person who is currently undergoing the training.

“We hope that when we send people for training, we need them to be rehabilitated to be able to learn from their mistakes and come out and don’t go back to prison.”

Meanwhile, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also confirmed to Parliament yesterday that the Nasinu Corrections Centre would be completely dedicated to inmates who were below the age of 24 years and inmates over the age of 60 from this Friday.

He said these inmates would be kept in separate premises.

“The whole idea is to bring all these young offenders into Nasinu from all over Fiji and currently we are looking at the Nasinu Corrections Centre to get the Ministry of Education set up a vocational training centre.

“The whole idea is that the young people that come there get trained in carpentry, joinery or in whatever courses they were being offered so when they go out of prison, they have a particular skill set,” he added.