Project to help young offenders

Fiji Corrections Service Commissioner Commander Francis Kean and corrections officers with mentors during the Sow The Seed program at the Devo Heights Convention Center in Walu Bay, Suva on Monday, November 21, 2022. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

There are currently 461 young offenders between the ages of 18 and 25 years under the care of the Fiji Corrections Service (FCS).

This was highlighted by FCS Commissioner Commander Francis Kean while addressing 14 senior pastors and retired teachers during the Sow A Seed (SAS) mentorship project in Suva yesterday.

Mr Kean said the total number of young offenders was about one quarter of the prison population.

He said the SAS project would help bring a holistic approach to the rehabilitation of first-time offenders to ensure real life change was attained.

He said the mentors would be able to restore positive thinking, self-esteem, confidence, ownership and help the offenders breakaway from the cycle of crime at the Nasinu Corrections Facility.

“These young men are our leaders of tomorrow and I think they deserve another shot at life,” he said.

“The number 461 is huge so I hope with the help of the mentors we can continue to go out into our communities to spread the message that there is no life in prison and also encourage our youth to make the right decisions.”

Mr Kean urged the young men to make use of the opportunity, resources and guidance by FCS and the mentors.

“Don’t waste this opportunity because there’s no life in prison.

“We all made wrong choices in life and hopefully with the assistance of your mentors, we will give you the necessary knowledge and skill set that will help you to go back and live as law abiding citizens.”

Mr Kean said the mentors would be providing a very honourable service to ensure youths were integrated back into their families, societies and became productive citizens.

He added a total of 23 mentors had successfully guided young first-time offenders since the commencement of the project in 2018.

More Stories