25 Jan 2016

Samoan group to help former prisoners

3:28 pm on 25 January 2016

Samoa has established an ex-convicts society with the full support of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Police and Prisons.

More than 15 former prisoners from ages 40 to 75 have offered to help the Prisons Authority stop prisoners escaping, as well as to handle human rights complaints from inmates.

A founding member of the Gauigana'a society and former prisoner, Tofilau Faamanu Ivara, says between 60 and 70 percent of the inmates currently in jail are re-offenders.

Tofilau says many of the prisoners' families reject them and they re-offend because they are attracted back to prison, which provides accommodation and food.

Part of Tafaigata prison cells

Part of Tafaigata prison cells Photo: RNZI / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia