Prison officers trained in human rights as well as protection and management of inmates in Upper Nile
Across South Sudan, crime is rising due to the dire economic situation and a breakdown of law and order.
It’s a huge challenge for the country which is emerging from civil war on a slow but steady journey towards peace and recovery. The United Nations Mission in South Sudan is supporting this effort by helping build the capacity of the entire justice chain to crack down on crime and end impunity.
United Nations Police are training local officers to investigate crimes, sensitively interview survivors, and to prepare cases for prosecution. Local legal officers and the judiciary are being provided with technical assistance.
The Mission is also focusing on what happens to those who are found guilty of a crime. It recently dedicated a two-day workshop to training prison officers in the Upper Nile region how to respect the rights of offenders transitioning through the justice system.
“When those who have been successfully prosecuted come to you, it’s a significant part of the administration of justice and the due process,” Human Rights Officer Christian Mikala told the 15 prison officers at the workshop. “The more knowledge that you have of human rights, how to protect and promote those rights, the better equipped you are to do your job.”
The workshop for male and female officers focused on the basic principles of human rights, abuses and violations stemming from conflict-related sexual violence, accurate management of records and prison files, the legal framework in South Sudan, international standards for prisons, as well as the protection and appropriate management of inmates.
“We have acquired valuable knowledge on how to manage cases as they come to us and to ensure that prisoners are treated in accordance with their own human rights inside Malakal Central Prison,” said participant, Lieutenant Colonel, Ajeith Padout.
The officer-in-charge of inmate affairs, First Lieutenant, Angui Ayiik Thon, said the training would help him carry out his duties to take better care of prisoners under his command.
“We have learnt a lot about human rights and how it applies in the corrections service. We even learnt new things, such as how to calculate the duration that each inmate should actually serve in prison.”
Sergeant Najat James, the controller of the women’s section of the prison, was particularly interested in ensuring appropriate treatment and care of women inmates.
“I learnt about sorting out inmates and how to deliver my duties effectively in terms of establishing separate programs for female and male prisoners.”
Similar workshops will be held to train personnel working at other prison facilities across the Upper Nile region in the coming months.