Tafaigata Samoa



Keywords: Tafaigata Samoa
Description: As part of its rehabilitation and re-integration programme, Tafaigata prison will resemble a Samoan village. Workmen are busy building 12 Samoan fale(s) in concave village setting complete with a

As part of its rehabilitation and re-integration programme, Tafaigata prison will resemble a Samoan village.

Workmen are busy building 12 Samoan fale(s) in concave village setting complete with a kirikiti patch in the middle.

“Samoan village culture has always been a big part of life here at Tafaigata,” says Acting Police Commissioner Fauono Talalelei Tapu.

“Inmates adhere to a village hierarchical structure with a matai (chief) taking a leadership role in the cells. We are just transferring that culture to a realistic village setting.

The populace of the Tafaigata prison village will be all-male and will live just as they do in any village.

“They will live and sleep in these fale (s) and no longer in cell blocks. They will have limited freedom of movement within the prison fences and go about their work as usual.

“The objective is to get them used to living in a village, especially the young ones. And when they are released they can easily integrate with the wider community. As part of their daily activities, they will learn all aspects of faasamoa. The chores, the ava ceremony, oratory and such.

The females – who are put up in a fenced off section – occupy their type with weaving and sewing programmes.

Rehabilitation and preparation for re-integration into the community is a big part of life at Tafaigata.

From hand-carving, to electronics repairs, livestock farming, vegetable growing and maintaining the prison’s large tilapia fish farm.

“Grow its own vegetables, tend its own livestock and fish for inmates consumption. Instead of solely relying on the government budget. We identify prisoners with specialized skills and get them to work in the workshops. At the same time, younger inmates can learn off of them. That sort of programme not only greatly helps in their rehabilitation but the skills will rub off on other inmates.”




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