Students get early prison warning

Prison is not a good place. It should be avoided at all costs.

That was the message from a female prisoner who addressed students at St. Mary’s College yesterday as part of an awareness programme making the rounds in Samoa.

The programme is being run by the Ministry of Police and the Samoa Prisons and Correctional Services. 

Yesterday, a female convict, whose identity is withheld, urged the students not to follow the path, which had landed her in jail. 

 “It was a scary experience at first and there is no one else to blame but myself,” she said. 

“That is why I am here to share with you that prison is not a place you would want to end up.

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“I have now experienced what it feels like to pay for crime and I would like to encourage you my fellow sisters to stay far, far away and be aware of your decisions.”

The inmate told of the hardships inside the jail.

Hard labour includes cutting grass that is often taller than her, she said.

The breakfast is quite often disgusting, she added. 

“It’s not food you would eat at home,” she said.

Assistant Chief Executive Officer (A.C.E.O) of the Programme Development Service Unit, Maiava Viiga Fuimaono, said the programme aims to deter young people from offences that could land them in jail.

The programme promotes the message that “prevention is better that cure.”

 “With some kids, they take it lightly and they think that prison is the solution but it’s not,” he said.

 “It’s important for them to know that they hold the key to staying away from problems.”

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