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Monday, October 2, 2023

Gov’t says prisons reforms ongoing


Press release

The Ministry of Interior (MOI) wishes to clarify that contrary to reports in sections of the media, The Gambia Government remains firmly committed to reforming the prison service in accordance within international standards for penal and correctional practice.

Significantly, the Mile II Central Prisons in Banjul and all other facilities of The Gambia Prison Services (GPS) across the country have operating clinics with health personnel meeting the healthcare needs of the inmates within close proximity.

Also, MOI has established a Prison Visiting Committee (PVC) for each prison center to conduct quarterly visits in order to check the conditions of the prison and recommend improvements.

As part of the ongoing reform, GPS in partnership with UNDP has created a digital records office and a case management unit operated by trained prisons officials. To help expedite court proceedings for inmates, paralegal offices have been established in all the prison centers with the support of Justice Defenders, a UK charity, in collaborating with the Office of the Chief Justice.

Notably, under the leadership of his Excellency President Adama Barrow, significant prison reforms have been undertaken such as the development of a new prison bill, establishment of technical and vocational skills centers for inmates, improvement of prison clinics, introduction of education facilities for juvenile inmates and building new prison facilities.

Crucially, prison reform is a key component of the overall national Security Sector Reform (SSR) process that The Gambia Government is advancing according to international best practices.

The Ministry of Interior, therefore, enjoins the public to cooperate in the implementation of the ongoing necessary penitentiary reforms.

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