EX-OFFENDERS can only be good and productive citizens if people have the heart of acceptance.
Although they have committed criminal offences, they are still human beings and part of the community.
The comments were made by the Officer-in-Charge of the Ba Corrections Centre principal corrections officer Jone Biu to villagers of Drauniivi in Rakiraki, Ra on Tuesday.
Speaking on the Yellow Ribbon Program, he told the villagers that the successful reintegration of ex-offenders back into the society would depend on the support from members of the community.
Mr Biu told villagers there was no need to neglect people who came out from prison.
"We need to work together so that we can reduce the re-offending rate," he said.
He said the Fiji Corrections Service could not work alone, saying "we can only achieve our mandate by working together".
"For ex-offenders, under our rehabilitation program, we are doing our utmost best to correct and nurture them well before they are released from any corrections institution," Mr Biu said
FCS west spokesman Semesa Uluiviti said villagers of Drauniivi commended the effort by corrections officers in trying to rehabilitate and change the lives of those under their care.
He said the FCS in the Western Division was gearing up for the YRP awareness programs in Ra before its YRP program launch in April.