Efforts by the Fiji Corrections Service in rehabilitating offenders will be in vain if members of the public do not accept them back into their communities, families and lives.
This was the sentiment shared by Yellow Ribbon co-ordinator, Jale Vosadrau during an awareness campaign at the Veisari Methodist Church, Lami, last week.
Mr Vosadrau emphasised that no one was perfect and that each individual had shortfalls.
However, he stressed that as long as one was still alive there was room for improvement in his or her life.
Mr Vosadrau stressed the importance of the community's responsibility in shaping the lives of ex-offenders.
"For a successful reintegration of an ex-offender back into the community, we will need your support," Mr Vosadrau said.
"The Fiji Corrections Service cannot do it alone. The cycle is not complete until the ex-offender is wholeheartedly accepted back into his/her community and family.
"It is the society's role to create a stable environment for these ex-offenders and their families so they can feel a sense of belonging and find hope to start anew."
Mr Vosadrau said the Fiji Corrections Service was already doing 80 per cent of the work by keeping offenders in safe custody and providing rehabilitation programs.
"The other 20 per cent is from efforts by the public which includes, acceptance, and action in helping these ex-offenders get their lives back and earn an honest living," Mr Vosadrau said.
Veisari Settlement comprises people of Tuvalu, Kiribati, Rotuma, Samoa and the iTaukei origin and was the first community to be visited by the FCS this year.