A TOTAL of 300 inmates were assisted last year by the Fiji Corrections Service through its Poverty Alleviation Program (PAP) fund.
The comment was made by Commissioner of Corrections Lieutenant Colonel Ifereimi Vasu during the signing of an agreement between the FCS and the Social Welfare Department.
Lt-Col Vasu acknowledged the support of the Social Welfare Department to the FCS.
"We thank you for the assistance and support rendered particularly for the inmates under our care in sharing the view that when they are released back into the society, they will become productive citizens," he said.
"Of the $75,000 given to us last year, 385 inmates benefited from this scheme."
Lt-Col Vasu said he was proud to be able to witness the progress of some former offenders who had gained tremendously from the assistance and were now supporting their families.
"I would encourage our two departments to work together for this worthy cause," he added.
Social Welfare permanent secretary Dr Joe Koroivueta agreed it was important the two teams work together in terms of acquittals and monitoring to ensure proper flow and use of funds.
Corrections spokeswoman Ana Tamani said a Cabinet decision in 2009 approved a memorandum of agreement between the two departments on the allocation of funds for the rehabilitation of former offenders.
The deployment of $100,000 annually from the Social Welfare Department's PAP to the FCS ensures funds are targeted for the rehabilitation of inmates not only after release but even while offenders are serving their terms in preparation for their return home.