THE Fiji Corrections Service reminded delegates at the roko tui quarterly meeting last Thursday of how important it is for inmates to feel accepted.
Fiji Corrections Service Community liaison officer Superintendent Sakiusa Veiwili said so far 172 inmates come from the province of Tailevu, Lau at 133, Ba at 105 and Lomaiviti at 91.
"Inmates need to know that someone out there still cares and to have their traditional leaders visit them during their incarceration boosts their moral."
SP Veiwili urged the leaders to visit inmates who are members of their respective provinces.
"When they are frequently visited, they are given a sense of belonging and it ultimately ensures their successful reintegration into the community upon release."
Youths make up 71 per cent of the total offenders population incarcerated at correction centers.
This is equivalent to 1113 inmates out of a total of 1336 incarcerated.
SP Veiwili said the change of focus from one of containment to corrections saw the commencement of rehabilitation programs for inmates.
"But we can only do so much, 80 per cent of the work to ensure that those committed to our custody become better citizens is carried out by the Fiji Corrections Service.
"The other 20 per cent, we rely on the church leaders, the vanua and their families to carry out," he said.
He added inmates were subjected to stigmatisation upon their release and that there was a greater need to give offenders a second chance.