Providing vocational training opportunities at Juba Central Prison to reduce re-offending and increase livelihoodsDec 23, 2015
The prison system is a key component of the criminal justice system responsible for the custody of people who are in conflict with the law. The National Prison Service of South Sudan has been in existence since the colonial period. During the colonial era, most prisons were designed to accommodate a fewer number of inmates than the present prison population. Over the years there has been a continuous deterioration in prison facilities. Today, following more than five decades of continuous war, the prison infrastructures have severely deteriorated.
While the National Prison Service of South Sudan is faced with a number of challenges, including the lack of rehabilitation facilities, the Prison Service has been working closely with UNDP to improve the facilities for inmates. Following a vocational needs assessment, UNDP’s Access to Justice and Rule of Law Project, with generous funds from the Government of the Netherlands, is providing support to the National Prison Service of South Sudan to construct vocational training workshops at Juba Central Prison as a pilot. The vocational training workshops aim to:
· Equip prisoners with self-supporting skills for livelihood purposes and to reduce recidivism.
· Enhance the capacity of prison personnel to conduct vocational training programmes on a regular basis.
· Develop coordination with other stakeholders to operate the vocational training workshops.
The creation of the vocational training workshops is supported under the guidance of a technical committee which comprise the National Prison Service of South Sudan, Directorate of Technical Education, Central Equatorial State (CES) Juba Technical School, prison officers and UNDP.
Collectively the technical committee agreed on eight types of vocational training which would be offered to prison inmates. The eight courses include: carpentry, electrical engineering, auto mechanics, welding, masonry, tailoring, agriculture and hairdressing. The committee identified the relevant equipment and furniture needed for each of the courses and then developed and finalized customized curricula for each course. The committee selected 13 instructors and two supervisors for the courses, based on their technical education and experience, as each trained prison personnel would be trainers for the subsequent courses. In terms of selecting suitable inmates to participate in the courses, a criteria was instructed based on the duration of the prisoner’s conviction, age, education, experience, gender and choice of course.
It is envisaged that once the Juba Central Prison vocational training workshops are fully equipped and up and running, that more than 200 of which 160 inmates and 40 prison staff (with 25 per cent being female) will participate in the courses. If the pilot vocational training workshops at Juba Central Prison are successful, the project plans to rol-lout similar workshops in the remaining nine state prisons in South Sudan.
Ms. Angelique Reid,Communications Specialist
UNDP South Sudan
Mobile: +1 (211) 922 411934