October 15, 2012

Reform inmates, PS tells officers

Timoci Vula
Monday, October 15, 2012

CORRECTION officers in all facilities around the country play a huge role in caring and reforming inmates under their custody.

And to do this, correction officers must be passionate about their jobs.

Permanent secretary for Works Commander Francis Kean also reminded the officers that Fiji's eyes was on all correction officers to ensure serving inmates come out of those facilities and were ready to contribute positively to the well-being of the country.

"You have a huge responsibility to look after those under your care and more importantly, ensure that when they come out, they are reformed and can become useful citizens of our country," Mr Kean said.

"It is important therefore that you are passionate about your job.

"Stop for a while, take a look at that mirror and ask yourself whether you have it in you," he told officers at the launch of the Yellow Ribbon program and the inaugural fun run at Korovou in Suva at the weekend.

"At all times, remember that offenders look up to you as role models so it is important that you set good examples."

Mr Kean, a former prison inmate himself, also shared with the inmates his experience while in prison and the challenged he face when he got out of jail.

"It is not the end of the world. Use that opportunity you have inside to come out a completely changed person," the former navy commander said.

"I know it's not easy being there. "I could not sleep, I worried about the future, about my family," Mr Kean told the inmates.

"Let me also tell you that the stigma of imprisonment is very real. People look at you for what you did, not for what you have become," he said.

"I lost many friends along the way including those whom I thought would stand by me. But I remained positive and I owe a lot to my family who stood by me in everything I've been through," he said.

Mr Kean challenged offenders to do the same.

The Yellow Ribbon program will also be launched in Sigatoka next Friday.

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