Key donor partner of the Sierra Leone Correctional Service- the United Nations Development Programme has acknowledged that the SLCS “has moved mountains with support provided under the US/INL project… and the agreed ‘From Prisons to Corrections’ project objectives”.
The ‘Prisons to Corrections’ focal person of UNDP SL – Louise Aaen acknowledged this, after four years of partnership with the SLCS, during which the SLCS has made significant strides towards the implementation of the dictates of standard offender management principles.
Louise pointed out that the SLCS has improved in files management, separation of categories, access to clean water and sanitation, and improvement in inmates’ diet.
Another worthy of note thing the UNDP also picked up was how much the SLCS had opened its doors to media institutions, which is demonstrated in the publication of articles on newspapers, and granting of radio and TV interviews courtesy of the SLCS’ rebranded ‘Public Relations unit’.
The UNDP found out that “the SLCS has made impressive progress in some facilities to build on the industries master plan with a specific focus on Agriculture which shows real potential in the SLCS in becoming self- reliant…”
Particularly, she praised the efforts exerted by Regional Commander North and the Officer- in- charge of the Makeni Correctional Centre, despite minimal fund they received, for ensuring the construction of a visiting bay “ensuring family and relatives have easy access to visits as well as prepare the former isolation unit to house the female inmates”.
Moreover, the Bo Correctional Centre which was recently tormented by the media and the public for the outburst of scabies- skin disease and acute shortage of water supply, has finally been relieved of those worries, according to Aaen.
“The Bo Correctional Facility received water through new piping and establishment of water taps inside the facility on the day of the UNDP visit (15 November 2018) and the OiC was thrilled as this had been a key problem and threat to the cleanliness and sanitation of the facility.”