Politics

Oppositions Motion To Increase Corrections’ Funding Defeated

The funds contribute to the purchasing of materials that will help inmates better their learning skills in starting a small business when they are released.
20 Jun 2019 13:18
Oppositions Motion To Increase Corrections’ Funding Defeated
Opposition Member of Parliament Lynda Tabuya outside Parliament. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

A motion to increase the allocations for the Fiji Corrections Service (FCS) by $2 million was defeated in Parliament yesterday.

A budget allocation of $80,000 has been put aside for the Fiji Corrections Services Bakery operation.

The funds contribute to the purchasing of materials that will help inmates better their learning skills in starting a small business when they are released.

Opposition member Mosese Bulitavu asked for clarification from the Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, on the allocation if it was for bakery materials or for its maintenance.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum responded saying the funds were for the supply of smaller stoves and ovens for smaller Correction Service institutions such as Ba and Taveuni that will help inmates get the experience needed and to enable them to become entrepreneurs.

Also, in response to Opposition Whip, Lynda Tabuya’s concern on the Poverty Alleviation Programme of $10,000 where the women inmates who are struggling to gain access to this particular programme.

The Attorney-General reassured Ms Tabuya that projects under the Yellow Ribbon initiatives are there to help inmates get back on their feet and be able to do well in the community.

“The inmates upon release are entitled to a maximum of $1000 for starting projects which will improve their standard of living and stability,”

“It is provided only to inmates who have exhibited to change and expressed good behaviour. They have undertaken rehab programmes while been incarcerated due to their offending behaviour and they should undergo business training before they are released,”

Ms Tabuya also highlighted on the issue of ensuring gender equality where female inmates are to given priority like the male inmates in receiving the funds needed to start their businesses.

The A-G responded that the funds are there to help but in terms of gender basis in handing it out, it is up to the inmates and they cannot be forced to apply for it.

“It is up to the individual to make that decision and a lot of people while incarcerated show a lot of interest and we cannot force them.”

Edited by Susana Tuilau

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