The Heads of Pacific Islands Corrections Conference (HOPICC) is a fairly young organization established at the first Conference in Honiara, Solomon Islands in 2007. The idea to establish the HOPICC arose during the 26th Asia & Pacific Conference of Correctional Administrators (APCCA) in New Zealand in 2006. Correctional Heads from the Pacific moved a motion that Pacific Island Countries should first conduct it’s meeting in order to discuss issues that smaller island countries might like to be raised in APCCA as a collective voice. This was a logical idea because small island countries face difficulty in attending APCCA due mainly to financial constraint. As a follow up to that development it was reported during the 27th APCCA in Hanoi, Vietnam, that twelve (12) countries attended the first HOPICC in Honiara from 6 – 10 August 2007.
The H0PICC is committed to enhancing better correctional practices with a view to contribute to a safer community in the Pacific. Our memberships are mainly drawn from the Forum Island countries within the correctional jurisdiction.
The Fiji Prison and Corrections Service (FPCS) are responsible for the management and supervision of over 900 prisoners in a system, which comprises of 13 prison correctional institutions. Six are classified while seven remain unclassified prison institutions.
It has a budget of $F13.7m. About 50% of that budget is allocated to the salaries and allowances of the 534 officers employed.
In-depth or structured rehabilitation programmes are concentrated in the classified prisons as opposed to ad-hoc programmes introduced in unclassified prisons. Typical programmes include educational skills, spiritual development, recreational activities and cognitive behaviour programmes. Significant reform programmes started early last year following the passing of the Prisons and Corrections Act 2006. Key changes revolve around developing better training modules conducive to the changes from containment to one of correctional, robust training of staff, compliance with international standards, and commercialization of prison industries; enhance public engagement and improve visibility through community partnership. These strategies are aimed at elevating the professional integrity and image of the Fiji Prisons & Corrections Service.
The conference will allow participants to appreciate and challenge the various innovative programmes taking place in Prisons with the ultimate aim to attract an overwhelmingly positive public support.