Over 1,000 inmates celebrate tenth independence anniversary

By Wek Atak Kacjang

At least one thousand eight hundred and five(1805)inmates in Juba Central Prison celebrated tenth anniversary IndependenceDay over the weekend.

On 9th July, President Salva Kiir Mayardit pardoned 15 prisoners across the country during the commemoration of the country’s 10th independence anniversary. The prisoners pardoned included seven from Juba Central Prison, one from the reformatory prison in Juba, two from Wau Central Prison, three from Yambio Central Prison and two from Jonglei Central Prison.

Speaking to media, Director for Juba Central Prison Michael Malou said that most of inmates wereawaiting trials because some of them have spent five to ten years in prison.

“I appreciated our partner United Nations Development Program and Red Cross for supporting inmates through intensive vocational course on Information Communication Technology, mechanics, welding, carpentry, tailoringand many others.

He added that the training also served as a rehabilitation program for the inmates saying the training would give work to idle prisoners.

At the same time, the Executive Director for Justice and Human Rights Observatory Godfrey Victor said most of the inmates in Juba Central Prison have no access to justice adding there was no transportation facility to take them to court.

“Some of them stayed for almost two, three years without seeing the judge.Someof them are in prison for normal thing,” Victor said.

He added that Juba Central Prison wasdoing a lot of reformation because most of the people who were going outside from Juba prison became peaceful citizens.

At the same time, the Executive Director for Centre of Community Transformation AdhelDhol Acuil said that Centre of Community transformation have programs that focus to release inmates.

“Centre of Community also provide legal aid to the prisoner who don’t have access to lawyer.We are working in Rejaf farm to ensure that the prisoners nutrition is ongoing a day,” he said.

“Our main aim is to reform inmates within South Sudan,” Director Acuil said.

In 2011, the Administration of the Juba Central Prison introduced a vocational training program to help build the capacity of the prisoners. The main prison was built in the 1940s. It could only accommodate 45 prisoners.

But the facility was later expanded and is currently accommodating over 1,900 inmates.

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