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EDITORIAL:New Emphasis On Rehabilitation By Corrections Way To Go In The Interest Of All Stakeholders

EDITORIAL:New Emphasis On Rehabilitation By Corrections Way To Go In The Interest Of All Stakeholders
May 03
10:31 2018

There is a paradigm shift at the Fiji Corrections Service (FSC) from punitive containment to rehabilitative correction.

FSC Commissioner Commander Francis Kean said this shift “poses a very demanding and challenging work environment”. Gone are the days when those under their care just work their term and released back to the community. Most of the time they were not accepted by their relatives and members of the community.

Currently FSC is in the business of rehabilitating and transforming lives of those under their care.

Addressing the passing-out parade for 60 new recruits at Naboro on May 1,  Commander Kean told them the “centre and key to this business is you, me and us the officers, men and women of FCS. We must lead this rehabilitation and change process; it starts with us – you as Correction men and women must play   display the necessary qualities to bring about this change in the lives of those under our care.”

The expanded role of Correction officers must be recognised and commended for its purpose. This new outlook looks at reforming inmates so that when they are released they are ready to be integrated back into their respective communities.

At the same time, the communities must be prepared to accept them back.

In the past only some communities did it. Others branded returning ex-inmates criminals for life. This social stigma was one of the reasons that drove these ex-inmates into crime  and prison because no one seemed to care or love them.

While they pay their dues to society in prison, inmates now have been given a lifeline –  another chance to change course for a better life. The FSC has broken down this rehabilitation process into four phases.

Phase one is spiritual intervention – A chaplain said: “Spirituality provides individuals a sense of meaning in their lives and a recipe to live morally. An individual’s faith often provides values, standards, and norms that are expected to be embraced.”

Phase two is behavioural intervention – Providing offenders an opportunity to change their thinking, their lives and their place in society.

Phase three is receiving skills training – This hands-on work offers the inmates training on a specific skill that provides them with ways to return to society and contribute as well as earn a wage.

Phase four is retention – The inmate is released and must be accepted by relatives and is ready to work to use the skills taught to him/her while under the care of the FCS. This programme sets up the inmates for a better productive and purpose-filled future.

The FCS has prepared inmates learning the skills necessary to locate employment, obtain a job, and keep it as they must learn skills to aid them in everything from getting to and from work, to managing their income.

These  skills are so important when people are starting a new life.  They empower them  to confidently tackle their personal challenges and become productive citizens.

Today, we pay tribute to our men and women of Corrections who have courageously embarked on this programme under the leadership of Commander Kean – and we say to them – Keep up the great work.

 

World Press Freedom Day

Today we celebrate World Press Freedom Day. The Fijian Media Association has organised a series of events to mark the day including a health walk and a panel discussion in Suva.

This year’s global theme is ‘Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law’.

Journalists the world over are still shocked by the death of 10 journalists killed in Afghanistan in a coordinated double suicide bombing in Kabul and a shooting in the eastern Khost province. This was the deadliest day for media workers in that country since the fall of the Taliban. In Fiji, we are blessed because we enjoy media freedom and have nothing to fear in practising it.

 

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj

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