11 Apr 2011

Human rights report says Fiji continues to lag in prison services

7:26 pm on 11 April 2011

A human rights report released by the US State Department has revealed Fiji has continued to fail in meeting international standards in its prison services, although some improvements were made last year.

The reports for 2009 and 2010 says Fiji's national prison system was seriously underfunded, overcrowded, with deteriorating infrastructure and complaints about the delivery of essential services.

The reports also stated the prison system had insufficient beds, inadequate sanitation, and a shortage of basic necessities.

They also revealed the number of pretrial detainees has continued to rise in Fiji, with some prison facilities exceeding capacity, partly due to the courts generally refusing to grant bail.

But they also detailed some improvements made last year, with the Prison Service installing cameras to improve security and new programmes launched to build skills and generate income for inmates.