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New facility opens for inmates

Repeka Nasiko
Thursday, February 01, 2018

FACILITIES for inmates and Fiji Corrections Service officers was one aspect of the criminal justice system that has been neglected for years, says Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

While speaking in Ba yesterday, he said Government was investing on improving facilities for inmates across the country.

"It was neglected — the facilities that were available for the inmates and the conditions they were incarcerated," he said.

"The conditions ranged from sanitation, to beddings, to the actual structure of the buildings. Of course at the same time, the corrections officers too in respect to the facilities offered to them.

"Their career paths and the specific trainings that were required for corrections services — these were also neglected for decades and we obviously need to rectify this."

He said the focus had also shifted to the rehabilitation of inmates.

"Most people in the criminal justice system, we tend to be concerned about a particular crime being committed.

"We are interested in getting the culprits and the perpetrators and we may be concerned about the outcome of the court ruling but then we tend to forget about the last end of the criminal justice system.

"It's not just about the conditions during the incarceration period but it's also about ensuring that when they are incarcerated we provide them with an environment that is conducive so they are able to realise their self-worth."

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said inmates treated with respect and dignity would become better citizens.

"We are treating them with respect and if we are able to inculcate and engender that thought process then obviously we are able to engage in much better rehabilitation of those who are behind the prison walls, so when they come out, not only are they able to improve themselves as individuals, but also to be able to become productive members of society."

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