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Over 100 inmates ‘unlawfully’ detained in central prison

September 7, 2020

By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

The Officer In-Charge at the Freetown Correctional Facilities, says 190 out of 1,385 inmates detained at the Pademba Road Male Correctional facility are without indictment.

Foday Ishmael Kamara who was speaking at the closing of the May 2020 Criminal Session of the High Court said two hundred and ninety-seven inmates are on trial.

He told Justice Momoh Jah-Stevens last Friday 4th September that the Freetown Male Correctional facility on Pademba Road was constructed to host 324 inmates, but the number has exceeded its limit and currently housed 1,385 inmates.

“My Lord, the Freetown Male Correctional Facility was constructed to hold three hundred and twenty four inmates, but the facility is now occupied by one thousand, three hundred and eighty five inmates,” he said.

Similarly, Kamara said the Female Correctional Centre, which is currently at the former Special Court complex is experiencing same as the centre was built to hold eighteen inmates, but currently squeezed fifty-four inmates.

He told the court that the Freetown Male and Female Correctional Centres have 301 Male and 12 female inmates on remand and 470 male and 17 female inmates serving conviction terms.

He added that the male Correctional Centre has 22 inmates serving life imprisonment, while 78 are in condemned cell.

Kamara said the male facility currently holds 24 all male foreign nationals.

He said the facility provides meals three times a day to all inmates which go with at least two hours physical exercise every day.

He said security at the centre maximum prisons has been beefed up as the military has joined the police and prison officers to man the facility.

He didn’t tell court the reasons behind the increase of security personnel at the centre, but the said development will not be unconnected to the recent jail break attempt in which scores of inmates were reported dead.

However, the officer called on government to provide them with more vehicles and to construct & equip the vocational workshops in the Correctional Centres.

Meanwhile, Justice Momoh Jah-Stevens has vowed to reduce the number of inmates at the facility by discharging those without indictments and those whose cases are not progressing.

“The number of inmates at the Freetown Male Correctional facility is too much, the facility is crowded and I am going to decongest it by discharging inmates, who cases are not making progress,” justice Jah-Stevens said.

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