Prison managers graduate in Juba
13 April 2012 – Trained for the first time since the facility opened two years ago by their South Sudanese counterparts, 35 prison officers graduated at Lologo Prison Training Academy in Juba today.
"This is a landmark course for UNMISS and the National Prison Service of South Sudan," said course trainer Luka Odong Silvo. "This is a course that has been run by our own prison officers who have been trained as trainers."
Some 24 tutors were identified and sponsored to study at Ghana Prison Staff College.
"The journey, which culminates in our gathering today, started two years ago when UNMISS corrections advisory (section) embarked on the train the trainer drive," said Deputy Director of Training Atem Deng.
What had been a dream was now reality, said National Prison Service of South Sudan Director General Lt. Gen. Abel Makoi Wol. "We are proud of you to take over ownership of this institution."
The UNMISS corrections advisory team provided technical and material assistance to the tutors. "Our obligation is to pass on skills to a core group that will take over the responsibility," said Hellen Okaalo, training coordinator from UNMISS corrections advisory.
Drawn from all 10 South Sudanese states, officers in the month-long middle-level manager course studied human rights in prison management, prison security, computation of sentences and basic prison administration.
"The first middle-level manager course which we are closing today was the first assignment to expose the tutors to practical assignment," said Mr. Deng. "From every indication they have done well."
Speaking on behalf of course participants, Major Ajok Riak Ajok of Jonglei State said they were honored to be part of the inaugural training but felt there was room for growth. "Since this is an academy, the period of training should be extended if possible at least three months."
This prison officers' capacity building initiative was also supported by the UN Office for Drugs and Crime as well as the UN Development Programme.