‘Prison, no place to be’

Inmate Mr Ben Tofola
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Inmate shares powerful reminder to nation



PRISON is not a good place to spend one’s life, a serving inmate reminds citizens.

Ben Tofola was brought out of the Auki Correctional Centre, where he is serving life, to share his experience during the 16 Days Activism programme on Wednesday in Auki.

“Prison is not a place to be,” he said.

Mr Tofola was jailed in 1990 for murder and to date has served 30 years, and still does not know when he will be released.

In his speech during the programme he said as an inmate who spent almost his entire life in prison, it’s a harsh place no one should spend their life in.

 “During my 30 years behind bars I stayed at Rove, Tetere, Kirakira and now Auki correctional centre,” Tofola said.

“There were men who committed crime against women and children like murder, rape and others who joined me in prison,” he added

“It was very stressful and hard to accept that there were men who think they are men during their time outside, come into the prison and cried like kids.

“Some men even they’re not sick they asked medication everyday like they’re sick. Stress and worry are the main diseases in prison.”

Tofola said in prison his freedom and rights are limited because he is blocked by the four walls of his cell day and night.

“It takes only a few seconds to commit a crime, but spend years paying for it behind bars in a lonely cell.

“It is just not worth it,” he adds.

He said a lot of men are in prison for committing crimes under the Family Protection Act (FPA), and the law is still there to punish perpetrators.

Tofola appeals to men to refrain from any form of violence against women and children and respect them for they are an equal gender within the society.