Rescue Alternative Liberia (RAL), has released its first quarterly prison report in Monrovia under the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) supported project: “ Promoting the Rule of Law Reform” The report details prevailing prison conditions in the Monrovia Central Prison, Gbarnga Central Prison and the Saniquelle Central Prison. The report is an account of prison visitations and monitoring exercises conducted by the Rescue Alternatives Liberia during the period of August – October 2014.
The prisons’ administration, capacities, inmates categories, gender, conditions in cells hygiene, medical and health care, food clothing and bedding were among others monitor.
According to RAL’s release, Liberian prisons and detention centers remain harsh and difficult for human habitation. Prisons’ sanitations are very poor; rehabilitation/correctional activities are lacking; medical services are limited in some prisons while it non-existed in other holding centers; correctional officers has limited or no logistics for the smooth running of prisons;. Inmates remain vulnerable to the contraction of diseases including Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), malaria, cold, rashes (skin disease), etc; and prisons are overwhelmed with overcrowding, mostly with pre-trial detainees.
Meanwhile, RAL recommending to the Liberia Government five (5) counts recommendations that seeks to improve the country’s prison sector:
1. The Bureau of Correction and Rehabilitation be giving autonomous status to be able to control its budget for the greater improvement of the prison sector;
2. Rehabilitation program be put into place in all prisons so that inmates can acquire skills that will make them productive when they are released;
3. Medical services be established in all prisons to provide services to inmates;
4. Logistical support be given to Correctional Officers for smooth operation; and
5. All prisons should be equipped with Ebola prevention materials for the safety of inmates and correctional officers as well as visitors. See Report OUR HANDICAP PRISON SYSTEM.