Panapasa Discusses Young Offenders in Correctional Facilities

Juvenile Inmates an Area of Concern for Fijian Authorities

Recent concerns about the number of young criminals in Fiji prisons have been raised by the Commissioner for Corrections, Commander Francis Kean. He emphasized concerns during a visit by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Financial Affairs and Public Expenditure.

A Closer Look at the Numbers

A report shared by the Deputy Commissioner for Corrections Akuila Namakadre, revealed that there are currently 74 individuals aged 25 and below in the island nation’s corrections facilities. This holds personal significance for Mr. Panapasa Vakasilimiratu, a committee member who has witnessed firsthand the challenges young people face in making positive choices in the community.

The Role of the Community

Vakasilimiratu emphasized the role of the community as a crucial factor in influencing the future of young people in Fiji. He further stated that the nation needs robust support networks for these young individuals to help them make better decisions and discourage them from entering a life of crime.

Addressing the Issue

In response to the pressing issue, the Fiji Corrections Service has projects underway to facilitate youthful offenders’ rehabilitation and reintegration. These initiatives aim to keep young people engaged and interested, offering them the potential to lead better lives and contribute meaningfully to their communities.

Commander Francis Kean particularly flagged sports programs as a way to keep young individuals interested in positive and healthy practices. He proposed the establishment of a learning center to provide these young offenders with educational opportunities.

Although the growing number of young offenders presents a formidable challenge, Fijian authorities remain hopeful that through rigorous rehabilitation, strategic programs, and community support, they can keep young people out if the corrections system, reaffirming a better future for Fiji.


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