29 May 2004

Appeal for fresh thinking on offender rehabilitation in Solomon Islands

8:20 am on 29 May 2004

The Solomon Islands prisons commissioner says new policy's needed to help the rehabilitation of offenders.

Commissioner of Prisons, Phil Norris, says a National Rehabilitation Policy is required to develop core rehabilitation programs for offenders.

Mr Norris' comments came whilst he highlighted the recent improvements in the prison system, since the arrival of the Regional Assistance Mission.

He says whilst, the priority of the Prison Service is, firstly, the safe and secure containment of prisoners, offender rehabilitation, is an extremely important component.

Mr Norris says offenders need assistance to change their attitude and ways, to learn skills that they can use when they return to their respective communities.

And, he says, to ensure this happens, such a policy would need to establish new welfare and counselling services, improve existing services and implement a systematic and uniform approach to offender rehabilitation.