Lau council visits inmates

THE Lau Provincial Council is urging men from the province who are currently being rehabilitated in the Fiji Corrections Service facilities to return to their villages and utilise their resources upon their release.

Elders from the province and council members stressed the point during their visit to the Naboro prison on Friday.

A total of 177 of the 1889 inmates, who are incarcerated in facilities around the country, are from Lau.

The inmates were advised by the leaders that they will still be accepted by the province when their term behind bars was complete and that they are important members of the province.

Tui Ono, Waisea Davuiqalita, told the inmates they were never forgotten, which was why the council was consistent in their visit.

The visit by the province has become an annual event since 2010.

Tui Dravuwalu (Totoya) Eseroma Bale reminded the inmates that they are valuable resources and they have traditional roles to fill in their various yavusa (tribe).

Vaka vanua of Cicia, Epeli Draunidalo Laliqavoka, reminded them of second chances and that they could go on to become better leaders if they accepted changes in their lives.

Inmates also sought forgiveness for their shortfalls.

Deputy Commissioner of Corrections Jo Kulinidilo applauded the effort of the council.

He said the visit reaffirmed the vision of Fiji Corrections Service in ensuring the offenders were successfully integrated back into society.

The council was briefed on the rehabilitation programs.

It suggested that the Fiji Corrections Service include maritime programs, such as inshore commercial fishing because the province had an abundance of marine resources.

The Fiji Corrections Service welcomed the idea and said it would discuss it with the Ministry of Fisheries.

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