February 13, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Director-General of the Sierra Leone Correctional Service yesterday lamented the fact that the institution is under-budgeted by the Ministry of Finance and Economic which, according to him, impedes development programmes they could implement.
Sanpha Bilo Kamara opined that such state of affairs is also limiting reformative and rehabilitation programmes designed by his institution for inmates across the country.
He stated that despite the modest but appreciable achievements they have been able to record, there are inherent challenges they have been grappling with over the years, citing the perennial issue of overcrowding.
“The under-budgeting from the Ministry of Finance impedes our development programmes and limits reformative and rehabilitative programmes for inmates. Notwithstanding, however, my administration will continue to pursue the vision and core values of the Correctional Service to uphold the fundamental human rights of all inmates,” he said.
Mr. Kamara also revealed that multiple representations to the Accountant-General to transform the Correctional Centre into a subvented agency to overcome the prevalence of backlog payment to contractors and pre-financing recurrent activities, especially during emergencies, have been met with unexplainable resistance.
He maintained that even though the Prisons Service has been transformed into a Correctional Service, its mission to protect society by keeping inmates in secure and humane conditions whiles assisting in their rehabilitation and re-integration still remains the same.
“My department therefore values most its commitment to uphold the fundamental human rights of inmates and promote fair access to justice, as well as striving to maintain the United Nations minimum standard rules for the treatment of inmates,” he assured.