UNDP and UNMISS supported the South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS) and National Prison Service of South Sudan (NPSSS) to develop COVID-19 guidelines by drawing upon the public health guidance issued by the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity and the World Health Organization, as well as international, regional, and national best practices.

10 August, Juba – Practical COVID-19 guidelines for South Sudan’s police and prison service have been developed and deployed to enhance preparedness and serve as a communication and awareness raising tool for personnel, prisoners, and the general public.

UNDP and UNMISS supported the South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS) and National Prison Service of South Sudan (NPSSS) to develop the guidelines by drawing upon the public health guidance issued by the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity and the World Health Organization, as well as international, regional, and national best practices.

Both the NPSSS and SSNPS Guidelines are intended to provide simple and concise guidance, presenting information in a practicable and readily usable format, including through the use of user-friendly graphics. They have been distributed in English and Arabic, in the form of posters, banners, and small booklets.

Throughout South Sudan, COVID-19 has placed significant challenges to personnel on the frontlines supporting implementation of national COVID-19 measures. COVID-19 risks are particularly unique while undertaking day-to-day activities of police, prisons and other places of detention due to the practical challenges in maintaining social distancing, limitations on the availability of PPE, and the impact on vulnerable categories of the prison population. UNDP supports these guidelines to help police and prison personnel ensure public safety, security, and human rights standards are maintained.

Excerpt of the COVID-19 guidelines for South Sudan police and prison personnel.

The NPSSS COVID-19 Guidelines are intended to support prison administrators and staff to ensure the continued safety and security of prisons by raising awareness about the risk of COVID-19 and providing practical guidance to staff, detainees, and the public on how to prevent the risk of COVID-19 from entering into a prison/detention environment, and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in case of an outbreak.

The SSNPS COVID-19 Guidelines provide a comprehensive and practical overview to aid awareness of prevention and control measures during the performance of key policing activities at police stations or posts, crime scenes and government checkpoints while engaging the public and performing law enforcement activities.

The NPSSS and SSNPS guidelines also recognize that the prevention measures in themselves will not be enough to address risks posed by the pandemic. Police and Prison Authorities are encouraged to utilize powers within their authority to limit arrests and new admissions to serious cases only, and to use existing legal provisions to aid prison decongestion, especially offenders who are low risk, eligible for bail, have served a majority of their sentence, or are in a particularly vulnerable category such as prisoners who are over the age of 55, have pre-existing conditions, or are juveniles. 

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For more information contact:

media.ss@undp.org

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