V.02.Res.06 Fautua Pasefika visits
- The reduction of re-offending by Pacific offenders is a key goal of the Department. To that end, the Department supports the strengthening of Pacific community structures, whereby assisting Pacific peoples to promote the well-being of prisoners will contribute to the achievement of that key goal. It is the Department’s intention to be as responsive as possible to the needs of Pacific peoples and to allow access for Pacific community leaders (Fautua Pasefika).
- All prison staff are to treat Fautua Pasefika with the same respect, courtesy, and cooperation as for statutory visitors.
Are people of Pacific descent who, through commendation by their community or organisation, have been granted greater and easier access to prisons, and Pacific peoples in prison to:
- address cultural or other specific needs of a prisoner;
- provide spiritual or religious guidance or instruction to a prisoner; and / or
- advocate on behalf of Pacific communities to departmental staff and the Minister of Corrections on best practice and cultural issues that will attend to the well-being of prisoners.
- The term Fautua Pasefika means Pacific Community Leaders who have access to prisons to enable the well-being of prisoners and networking back to their communities.
- Fautua Pasefika is intended to be applied to those peoples of Pacific descent who have been promoted by their communities as cultural advocates.
The Role of Fautua Pasefika
- Fautua Pasefika advise departmental staff on examples of best practice for working with Pacific prisoners.
- assist prisoners to establish contacts with Pacific community groups;
- provide prisoners with news and information about local and national Pacific communities;
- assisting prisoners with personal and extended family matters;
- assisting prisoners with reintegrative arrangements through their extended family and community.
- Fautua Pasefika not employees of the Department.
- Fautua Pasefika are distinct from Pacific providers contracted by the Department to deliver services to prisoners of Pacific descent.
Visits by Fautua Pasefika
- On approval, Fautua Pasefika can enter prisons at any time, including outside normal visiting hours, by prior arrangement with site prison management. They may be permitted, at the prison director’s discretion, to make unannounced visits.
- A Fautua Pasefika may visit any prison within their area, at any time, by prior arrangement with prison management.
- Fautua Pasefika do not visit at a prisoner’s request.
- Fautua Pasefika visiting prisons outside their area, especially for the first time, are encouraged to meet, if possible, the Fautua Pasefika of the area they are visiting, before seeking access to the prison.
- Fautua Pasefika, as with all persons entering a prison, may be required to undergo security screening in the same manner and circumstances as may apply to statutory visitors.
- In exceptional cases, and only with the prior permission of the prison director, Fautua Pasefika may deem it appropriate to bring authorised items into, or out of, a prison on behalf of prisoners or staff.
Assisting prisoners to prepare for visits
Prisoners scheduled for a visit from a Fautua Pasefika are to be reminded in advance by prison staff, so that the prisoner has adequate time to prepare for the visit and to enhance their potential to benefit from the experience.