Poor toilet facility at male correctional centre

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One of the inmates using the bucket latrine

By Yusufu S. Bangura

Chief Superintendent of the Sierra Leone Correctional Centre, Foday Ishmael Kamara, has disclosed in an open court that, sanitation is still a serious challenge at the Male Correctional Centre on Pademba Road, as inmates still use bucket to defecate.

He made the above disclosure before Justice Ivan Ansumna Sesay on Friday 20th January 2023, during the close of the High Court Criminal Session.

He said there are 2, 141 inmates that are in the male, female and reintegration facilities in Freetown.

Kamara said at the male correctional facility they have 1, 838 inmates, 118 inmates at the female correction centre and 185 at the reintegration centre.

He further stated that they have better electricity with 24 hours supply and that whenever they experience power outage they switch on the generator.

In the area of food, he said they provide inmates with breakfast and double ration-32 ounce for lunch and dinner.

Superintendent Kamara said they have a variety of food prepared for inmates and that they have a contractor that supplies them cartoons of fish and meat, but noted that they were faced with challenge in the area of medical.

He said they have one medical doctor for the 2, 141 inmates with sixty (60) registered nurses, adding that the doctor is not a specialist and that whenever they have special cases like prostate cancer, they would refer inmates to bigger hospitals for proper treatment.

Kamara continues that they only have 13 beds at the medical facility and that they don’t conduct any medical check-up on the inmates except when they are reported sick.

He said the correctional center has recreational facilities for inmates to exercise like football pitch, tennis court, among others, but that they don’t have basketball facility.

He added that they have skills training center like carpentry workshop, welding shop, shoe making and tailoring.

He said they have church and mosque where inmates usually go for prayers and that they have foreigners in their custody who are also Christians and Muslims.

When he was asked about the last recommendation by Lawyer Cecilia Tucker, Kamara said there were recommendations during the last closing criminal session by Justice Halloway for the elimination of the bucket systems and the congestion of the prison, but yet still they are still using it.

He said late last year they visited Songo to identify land  for relocation of the correctional centre and that  they have paid  land owners, and in December last year it was decided that they should relocate the correctional center to Masankay where  the land has also been surveyed.

After hearing the appalling status report from the Prison authorities, particularly the alarming number of inmates, which he said impedes justice, the Judge noted that there was a dire need for reforms for an effective and efficient modern day prison.

Justice Sesay recommended that all the previous recommendations made by his colleague judges must be carried out immediately.

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