Visit helps con­tes­tants over­come prison stigma

Fiji Sun - - Nation - JOSAIA RALAGO josaia.ralago@fi­jisun.com.fj

Avisit to the Labasa Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre on Thurs­day helped con­tes­tants over­come the stigma usu­ally as­so­ci­ated with peo­ple who have gone through this re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gramme. The Voda­fone Fes­ti­val of the Friendly North Queen con­tes­tants and the win­ners of the Kings cat­e­gory were priv­i­leged to visit the cor­rec­tional fa­cil­ity. Miss Apco Paint Eta Nasova who was vis­it­ing the com­plex for the first time said she was greeted by a dif­fer­ent real­ity com­pared to what she had ex­pected prior to the visit. “It was all very calm when we en­tered and were toured through­out the whole cen­tre at the same time in­tro­duced to what went on at the fa­cil­ity,” Ms Nasova said. “I thought it was go­ing to be a very scary ex­pe­ri­ence, be­cause from my un­der­stand­ing this was where crim­i­nals were de­tained. “I saw that they are be­ing trained so when they leave, they are able to make a liv­ing from what they have learned.”

First Run­ner-Up for the Kings cat­e­gory, Jale Cakobau said he found the trip an en­light­en­ing one.

“This is also the first time for me to tour the fa­cil­ity and I must say that it is well kept with pro­grammes set in place for the ben­e­fit of mem­bers of the pub­lic who wound up there,” Mr Cakobau said. “This has also helped me to un­der­stand the im­por­tance of the Yel­low Rib­bon pro­gramme which has been put in place to as­sist for­mer in­mates. “On the same note, I would like to urge young peo­ple to do their best not to end up in a fa­cil­ity as such, be­cause it is a waste of time. Please make wise de­ci­sions al­ways.” The team also had a chance to visit the Repub­lic of Fiji Mil­i­tary Forces Bar­racks in Va­turekuka. Edited by Ru­si­ate Mataika

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