Led by senior officers Assistant Commissioner Operations Jo Kulinidilo and Assistant Commissioner Administration Apimeleki Taukei, the officers from the Nasinu and Suva corrections centres and headquarters left their homes as early as 4am for the activity.
Superintendent headquarters Viiliame Bulewa said farm day was also part of the FCS transition initiative.
“We are trying to bridge the gap between officers and inmates and it is something different. We are trying to instill in officers the understanding that, as Captains of Lives, we should feel the pulse of what the inmates do,” he said.
The initiative is also part of the commissioner’s business plan or annual corporate plan for this year.
“Previously we’d have officers supervising the inmates as they go about their duties but we are trying to create a change in mindset so we join them. We want inmates to know that we care about them and it’s important for us to be here because we are members of one family,” he said.
Bulewa said the farming project and other small business units (SBU) under the FCS also provided a platform for inmates to upskill and develop a trade while in incarceration and better prepare them for life after reincarceration.
“Farming is also part of our rehabilitation program. Not all the inmates are involved in farm activities. We place them where their strength is and that is why we have other SBUs like joinery, tailoring, piggery and poultry farming.”
Bulewa said most of the achievements of the FCS was done in collaboration between the officers and inmates.