Organisations willing to offer reintegration and reformation services to discharged prisoners have been encouraged to approach the Uganda Prisons Service for guidance and colloboration.
The call was made by Assistant Commissioner of Prisons Frank Baine, while officiating at the graduation of former death row convict Susan Kigula, who graduated with a law degree from the University of London by correspondence.
Recently, Baine said, Uganda Prisons started collaborating with African Prisons Project (APP), TEDx Luzira and the European Union to offer rehabilitation services, skilling, counselling to inmates in a bid to help the reformation process after conviction.
“That is why Uganda Prisons opened its doors to NGOs such as African Prisons Project to unlock justice and rehabilitating inmates through awareness programs,” ACP Baine, the UPS spokesperson, said.
According to Baine, every year the prison receives over 1000 inmates convicted from various courts of law but depending on their sentences, few are released each year.
And speaking to Eagle Online, Baine noted the partnership is beneficial to the rehabilitation of inmates. “Despite being in prison, the inmates have not been deprived off the rights to learn, with schools established within the premises of the facility and collaboration with the University of London. Inmates have managed to attend classes and many have graduated in various courses including law,” Baine said.
He added: “The justice system runs so fast to punish the crime and forgets the background of the crime and that is why crime will live as long as humanity. All of us, judges and researchers must step up for the causes of crime too be considered in courts of law.”
Meanwhile, in her presentation Kigula, who led the petition that led to halting of death row by hanging in 2009, said prisoners can change if given an opportunity. She also noted that at times prisoners are mistakenly sentenced.
Susan Kigula was in 2002 sentenced to death by hanging after court proved that she murdered her husband.
Her conviction was commuted and she was given a 20-year sentence but later given a remission and released in January 2016 for exhibiting good behavior.
According to Baine, due to the good rehabilitation services, Luzira Prison has for the past three years been ranked number one in Africa and fourth in the whole world.