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Prison overcrowding

Talebula Kate
Wednesday, July 29, 2015

THE lone Fiji women's corrections facility in Fiji faces the issue of overcrowding, says officer in charge of the Women's Corrections Centre Anuradha Singh.

Ms Singh, 55, who retired earlier this month but was recalled because of her vast experience and skills, said the capacity of the women's corrections centre at Korovou was 30 but they had 57.

She said this included remanded and convicted prisoners from around Fiji.

Remand women prisoners, including those from Ba, Lautoka, Labasa, are transported back to have their cases heard under the right jurisdiction.

"Police officers come in with their remand warrant and we have to enter it into a diary and we inform the officers that this was the date the remand prisoners are going back to court," she said.

She said they only looked after the remand prisoners with regards to their meals, clothes and shelter but to escort them to court was the duty of the police.

Ms Singh anticipates the proposed expansion of corrections facilities to be completed next year would address the issue of overcrowding.

Meanwhile, the 5th Pacific Islands regional women in corrections conference held in Suva, Ms Singh said, provided an equal opportunity for women officers.

"We hardly see women officers being promoted but I'm so thankful for the Commissioner of Corrections that he recognises that we are promoted.

"He always encourages us to go for further studies and then we are promoted."

She said she always fought for the rights of her officers and at times, it was challenging because of some of the decisions they had to make.

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