Tailevu tops highest number of reps – Waisale

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Tailevu Provincial Council chairman Rusiate Tudravu present the ‘ivakatale’ to HE The President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere during the opening of their meeting at Nasautoka, Wainibuka, Tailevu. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

Tailevu tops the highest number of representatives in prison, totalling 172.

Following closely is Ba with 138, and then Cakaudrove with 123. Macuata ranks 11th, with 54 individuals incarcerated.

This was revealed by the director rehabilitation Waisale Soqonakalou while speaking at the Yellow Ribbon Symposium at the Friendly North Inn, yesterday.

Mr Soqonakalou said there was a disproportionate representation of iTaukei individuals among the convicts across Fiji.

“There’s a need for the district and provincial council offices to work together with other stakeholders to address the issue,” he said.

He said this underscores broader societal challenges that needed to be addressed, including factors contributing to criminal behaviour and potential disparities in access to opportunities and support systems.

“By working together, these entities can pool resources, expertise, and strategies to address the root causes of criminality and implement targeted interventions to support rehabilitation and reintegration efforts,” he said.

“This high number underscores the urgency of implementing comprehensive measures to prevent crime.

“It also addresses underlying social and economic factors and provide support to individuals at risk of entering the criminal justice system.”

He said there were 2161 individuals in prison with the Central Division rating the highest with 850.

“In this division, there are 539 convicts which are men and 28 are women while in remand there are 274 men and nine are women,” he said.

While in the Northern Division, he said there were 160 convicts and they were all men.

In response, Tailevu Provincial Council chair Rusiate Tudravu said they were aware of the statistics.

“There were some programs been set in place by the council to address the issue,” he said.

He said the Tailevu Care Committee was formed to ensure that former offenders do not re-offend when released from prison.

“We are also working in collaboration with the Fiji Police Force and other stakeholders,” he said. He said most of those in prison were working people, not from the village.

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