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Kean’s Initiative Positive, It Should Be Developed And Expanded

The use of Fiji Corrections Services inmates to help out in cane harvesting is a bold and positive initiative by its Commissioner Commander Francis Kean. Feeding and sheltering the inmates
07 Oct 2016 11:00
Kean’s Initiative Positive, It Should Be Developed And Expanded

The use of Fiji Corrections Services inmates to help out in cane harvesting is a bold and positive initiative by its Commissioner Commander Francis Kean.

Feeding and sheltering the inmates are an expensive exercise. It is sometimes joked about that it is one of the reasons why repeat offenders love going back inside is because they get free food and free accommodation at the expense the state.

While Naboro can be self sufficient in food production there are other areas like building maintenance and infrastructure development that incur costs.

Naboro inmates may be fully engaged in their food production and other activities, there should be a constant evaluation to ensure they can be deployed to do other tasks.

After Cyclone Winston, inmates were used to help in school repairs and reconstruction in the Dawasamu area, Tailevu. It is not clear whether they are still engaged.

But cane harvesting has now benefited from the inmates’ timely help at a time when cane farmers desperately need cane cutters.

Inmates are being put to profitable use to justify their free food and free accommodation.

Their service can be expanded to include other national needs. Here we have a ready group of able-bodied men and women who can be used in any assignment or emergency.

In a disaster, when many people may be immobilised because of damage to infrastructure, the country needs the help of those who are are not affected to help out.

Those in the Correction facilities can be part of the frontline help together with the Police and the military.

From an inmate’s perspective, community service can be an effective way of rehabilitating him or her.

It helps to remove the stigma that exists between them and the community.

The Yellow Ribbon programme has given many inmates, after their release from confinement, a new lease of life.

Getting inmates constantly engaged with the community in service helps to build confidence and trust.

One day when they finally go home, they are welcomed with open arms and absorbed into the mainstream of life in our communities. It also reduces the risks of them turning to crime and returning to the Corrections institutions.

Therefore, Commander Kean’s initiative should be applauded, developed and expanded.

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