Wednesday, 18 May 2022
Attorney General and Minister for Economy, Civil Service, Communications, Housing, and Community Development Hon Aiyaz Saiyad-Kaiyum says the Government is ensuring that corrections services do not become a place where prisoners come and languish in the system.
This was part of his message during the passing out of 68 new recruits at the Fiji Corrections Center in Naboro on Saturday, 14 May 2022.
“And I congratulate the Commissioner of Corrections and his team for the hard work put in over the years that has contributed to the success of many of their programs.
“Corrections officers play a very important role in society to ensure that we have a fair, just and prosperous Fiji.”
The Attorney General went on further to state that the government had invested millions into the FCS to help change the face of a Service that had always been neglected in the past.
For a very long time, the Services’ infrastructure, buildings, treatment of inmates and salaries of corrections officers were neglected.
“If it wasn’t for the pandemic we would have had a job evaluation exercise.”
“Once the economy gets stronger and bigger we will be able to carry our job evaluations for corrections services and various other disciplined forces in time to come.
“For a long time Fiji had a very high rate of recidivism and Government’s has made significant investment in the past years to upgrade and maintain corrections infrastructural facilities to meet international standards and assist with inmate rehabilitation.
“Today, we have witnessed many programs the FCS has put out to assist in the reintegration of these inmates from the recent Employment Expo and the Yellow Ribbon Walk.
The 68 new recruits went through a grueling 14-week exercise which also included survival training and also attachments at some Corrections Centers.
They also participated at public events like the Yellow Ribbon Walk where they could get a feel of how FCS personnel conducted its public engagements.
The Baton of Honour, or top award went to Corrections Officer Class C (COC) Apolosi Kaloumaira who dedicated his achievement to God and family.
“I never expected that I would be here one day, the training was very tough but it brought out the best in me. This is a noble profession to be part of and I thank our instructors and also my recruit members all their help.”
COC Asaeli Tamanitoakula won the Best in Drill Prize while the top student in theory prize was awarded to Aisake Meo.
The other highlight of the day was the commissioning of your officer and PCO Saimoni Koroi, 25 who was awarded his new rank by the Chief Guest.
PCO Koroi lost his father and former Policeman Josese Lako during the COVID epidemic in 2021 and he said he only wished his father was alive to watch him being commissioned.
“My father always asked when was I going to get my life together and work harder here at Corrections, and he also asked when my cadetship would end.
“I told him I was getting there, and he always said to keep on moving and never give up – I wish he was here today.”
Koroi dedicated his achievement to his wife and young child.
Also creating a buzz during the pass out was PCO Meredani Kiliraki who for the second time was the Platoon Commander at a Basic Recruit Passout Parade.
PCO Kiliraki was also commissioned in 2020.