FCS on high alert as contraband escapes detection methods

January 11, 2024 12:39 pm

Korovou Prison

The Fiji Corrections Service is still facing challenges as contrabands continue to enter the correctional facilities.

The contrabands are concealed within body cavities which go undetected through the electronic system.

Acting Commissioner Salote Panapasa says the absence of scanners capable of detecting items hidden in body openings has resulted in a concerning uptick in contraband infiltrating the FCS facilities.

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In response to this security crisis, Panapasa calls for assistance in enhancing the capabilities of correctional officers through comprehensive leadership development and on-the-job training.

“The number of contraband items being excessed into our Fiji Corrections Service mostly came through body cavities and we don’t have any electronic scanners to detect those contraband items.”

Panapasa notes a troubling trend over the past 16 years stating the inclusion of irrelevant programs in training that overlook the crucial occupational needs essential for cultivating passionate and dedicated correction personnel.

Panapasa also points out the safety and security issues affecting inmates and officers, especially during the mandatory movements of prisoners attending court hearings.

She reveals that out of the 14 escort vehicles purchased in 2014, only three are currently operational, leaving the majority grounded.