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First wedding of the year

23 January 2021

The real lockdown

Friday 1 May 2020 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Crime


A nine month old baby will reunite with his father when the prison reopens to visitors on Sunday, after a month of lockdown.

Families and friends were barred from visiting their loved ones at Arorangi Prison due to the coronavirus restrictions.

Corrective Services minister George Angene confirmed visits will resume on Sunday.

For a remanded inmate, the visiting hours are from 9am to 11am Monday to Friday and for a sentenced inmate, the visiting hours are 12pm to 2.30pm on Sunday only. However visits for remand inmates will be determined by the severity of their alleged crime.

A Rarotonga woman is looking forward to catching up with her partner who is serving a six year sentence.

She said their little baby would be pleased to meet his dad again after a month.

“It’s tough times especially with the coronavirus and it’s even tougher not being able to meet and talk to your loved ones especially during this time of crisis. But I have remained strong for myself and our son,” she said.

“My partner has also missed out on a month of our son’s life and upbringing and I know he is looking forward to see how much he has grown.”

Apart from a catch up, the weekly visits also allowed friends and families to share a special Sunday lunch with their loved ones at the inmates.

The woman said she would be taking some home cooked meals for her partner as well as fruits and sugary desserts.

“I will surely take a bottle of Coke because he loves that. The visit normally allows us to take things that they don’t get while in prison.”

Angene said the directive to stop prison visits had come from the Ministry of Health.

The government has eased some of the Covid-19 related restrictions after declaring the country free of the virus a week ago.

Angene also said he was using some of the inmates to clean the villages around the island before putting them into work release programme.