REHABILITATION efforts in prisons has achieved a milestone with the offer of carpentry courses to 12 inmates at the Natabua Correctional Facility.
This is after the Fiji National University, in partnership with the Pacific Counselling and Social Services and the Correctional Services, launched a five-month carpentry course yesterday.
Western prisons supervisor Assistant Superintendent Oliver Fisher said this was a great opportunity for inmates as it gave them an opportunity to learn a new trade.
"When these inmates are released, they will have a trade certificate in carpentry and will be able to find employment to provide for themselves and their families. It gives them a reason to make a change for the better and to lead a good life that has promise," said ASP Fisher.
He said the inmates were excited to be given such a chance and they could not wait to begin the course and experiment on timber with their new tools.
He added they had a familiarisation class where they acquainted themselves with equipment they would be handling for the next five months.
"This is the first time we are having such a class in Lautoka. Normally, such classes are held in the Central and Eastern divisions but now they have moved down to us and we are very glad that such an opportunity has been offered to our inmates," he added.
ASP Fisher said the 12 inmates were chosen on good behaviour, and the status of their sentence was also considered.
PCSS community services centre manager Fanny Fiteli said the course opened the door for inmates to a better start at life with a qualification upon release.