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Thursday 16 Aug, 18

The Fiji Corrections Service (FCS) will now be working more closely with the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma to help run its rehabilitation programs.

This was after the FCS organized a Yellow Ribbon symposium with the Church yesterday to help identify ways and means to strengthen its Care Networks after inmates are released back into the communities. 

Fiji Correction Service (FCS) Commissioner Commander Francis Kean said they were grateful to the president of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma in giving the endorsement for the yellow ribbon symposium to happen today.

Mr Kean said they would also reach out to various religious denominations for their assistance.

FCS chaplain Rev Josefa Tikonatabua reminded church ministers that the work of rehabilitation and changing people’s lives for the better was actually the work of men of faith or men of the cloth.

“This is our true calling as Ministers, which is why we have tried to organize such a sitting because we feel that the Church can do wonders in changing lives,’’ Rev Tikonatabua said.

Fiji Methodist Church General Secretary Rev. Ili Vunisuwai paid tribute to the work done by FCS and challenged his fellow ministers to now take the lead with rehabilitation in their own communities.

“This is really our true calling as Ministers, to try and change those who have lost touch with all the good and love in society and bring them back to God and their family and ultimately to society,’’ Rev. Vunisuwai said.

“Spiritual character guidance plays a very important role irrespective of what religious background you come from, it makes a big impact on the lives that are under our care,” he said.

Commander Kean revealed at the Symposium that 1,739 inmates were in prisons between June and July in 2016 out of which 468 were Methodists.

“We do not want to pinpoint any religious denomination but are grateful to the Methodist Church in Fiji for agreeing to now work with us as we also now plan ahead to sit with other religious denominations.

This undertaking also comes after the announcement by the FCS of the milestone achieved in the reduction of the revcidivism

As of 31st July this year, the rate of convicted felons that resort back to crime after they have been released was recorded at 1.5% which is equivalent to 27 people.

For the same period last year, the rate was 4.7% which refers to 72 people.

Commander Kean says this 1.5% is the lowest rate recorded over the past 10 years.

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