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Written By : CAROLINE DELAIVONI. The majority of inmates in the 13 prisons are under 30 years, it was revealed yesterday.
And most of them do not return to their families but back to a life of crimes.
Prisons Commissioner Iowane Naivalurua said this was sad because they were so young and had a lot to contribute to society.
Mr Naivalurua said most factors that lead them committing offences was socially related. This he said could be the lack of parental guidance, poverty, and peer pressure to name a few.
He also said 80 per cent of inmates were indigenous Fijians.
And of these, almost 45 per cent were members of the Methodist Church.
Methodist Church president Reverend Laisiasa Ratabacaca confessed that most members of his church were in captivity but that did not mean the church did not care.
“I must confess that according to statistics about 45 per cent inmates are Methodists and there is no excuse,” Rev Ratabacaca said.
Rev Ratabacaca said it Fijians top the list of inmates because they were natives and most natives belong to the Methodist denomination.
He then said it would be the same in any other country may it be Tonga, Japan or China.
Mr Naivalurua said Indians were second on the list.
The Fiji Prisons and Correctional Service opened the Naboro Maximum Prison to a delegation from the Methodist Church and members of the media.
The visit was part of the rehabilitation programmes which followed the yellow ribbon project.
“It is the first time today (yesterday) for a Methodist church president to visit and engage in such an activity at the maximum prison,” he said.
Mr Naivalurua said the main aim of rehabilitation was to engage all stakeholders in the society to remove the negative stigma they had on prisoners.
He said the society has a responsibility to change their perception of criminals.