THE recidivism rate at the Labasa Prisons and Corrections Centre increased to at least four per cent last year with 23 re-offenders.
And the centre has called on members of the public to support the re-integration of prisoners into society once released from jail.
Centre supervisor northern Assistant Superintendent of Prisons (ASP) Penisoni Tuapati said their aim this year was to reduce this number and increase awareness on the Yellow Ribbon Project.
"Even though it's only a slight increase, we feel it's important to control the rate of recidivism so inmates don't re-offend and regard the centre as their homes," he said.
"This year, we have identified the red zones, where most inmates come from, and we'll work closely with the villagers to help former inmates stand on their own feet instead of resorting to criminal activities for survival."
ASP Tuapati said there was no excuse for people in the north to resort to crime to obtain money because there were available land and resources for income-generating projects.
"Vanua Levu has a wide range of resources that we can utilise for our livelihood and there is no excuse for people to commit illegal activities to get money.
"The onus is on us to shake up the land and develop it."
ASP Tuapati said they would hold discussions with villagers on ways to help ex-prisoners venture into something useful in life so they do not re-offend.