Prison Reforms & Rehabilitation
Realising that Cameroon prisons as well as the entire criminal justice system is an essential step in building good governance, sustainable democracy and providing adequate security to the Cameroonian people ICENECDEV is implementing a pilot project focused on the development of human resource capacity within the prison service, juvenile correctional centre-Borstal Institute and restore the dignity of prisoners by providing humane conditions and improving welfare. This is because better management capacity of the prisons will create an enabling environment for the improved treatment of prisoners. This project is addressing also aspect of sustainability through fostering environmental stewardship and other workshops opportunities for offenders and wardens that should lead to a change in the quality of life and a reduction in recidivism.
- The development of the human resource capacity within the prison service
- Restoring the dignity of prisoners and juvenile by providing humane conditions and improving welfare
Three phases of the program have been identified:
1) Short-term-Immediate assistance –providing essentials like mattresses, medicines, soap, clothes, educational materials, food (regular donations)
2)Medium-term- Relationship building- which will include literacy, vocational classes and leisure activities, workshops for trainers from the 3 target institutions providing medical, pastoral, legal and paralegal services, establishing a small farm so the food shortage would no longer be an issue, water and sanitization project
3) Long-term-Sustainable rehabilitation –long-term goals focusing mainly on lasting partnerships with educational institutions, other organizations to provide ongoing assistance with prison administration and management, which would focus on training of the prison staff and positive empowerment of prisoners in their life after release.
LITERACY CLASSES IN THE BUEA CENTRAL PRISON
Literacy is a serious problem in some rural communities inCameroon. In the Buea central prison located in the south west region inCameroon, almost 50% of the inmates cannot read and write. It is really important that the inmates learn how to read and write, because it will give them a bigger chance to integrate in the community after their prison terms.
ICENECDEV and FAAFNET, two locally based non profit and non governmental organizations are carrying out a join project titled HUMANISING BUEA CENTRAL PRISON WALLS. This project span from literacy classes, vocational training of inmates, water supply in prison, regular donations to inmates, refurbishment of the prison health centre, training of Warders on prison and human rights and establishment of farm to supply regular meals to the inmates.
With the literacy classes in the Buea Central Prison, there are about 60 enthusiastic learners following the classes twice a week. The inmates learn how to read and write integrated with vocational trainings in sewing, woodwork, business and farming etc. In the future, we hope to expand the project in other prisons and regions in Cameroon.
ICENECDEV is carrying out training on the following trades: carpentry ,tailoring, barbing , and computer classes in the Buea Central Prison .This has provided the inmates with basic skills and knowledge and provide them with basic income to sustain themselves from the little jobs the obtain while in prison. The trainings are helping to occupy the inmates from other petty crimes in the prison. There is high probability that the training will break the cycle of crime in the local communities after their release. The trainings will facilitate the inmates to integrate in the society, picking suitable jobs in the future.
The inmates upon completion of the vocational trainings will be trained on business plan development and introduce on our new program of Prison loan schemes to help them establish their own businesses and training workshops.
To break the cycle of Hunger ICENECDEV has established prison farm to regularly provide food for the inmates in the Buea central prison. The crops are cultivated by the inmates include cocoyam, beans, maize, cabbages, tomatoes, potatoes and green beans.
WATER AND SANITATION
ICENECDEV resolve water crisis in the Buea central prison and Juvenile correction centre-Borstal institute Buea by building water storage tanks to save water during the dry season for the 615 inmates who suffered from severe water crisis and inadequate supply. ICENECDEV intends to provide and install trash cans and refurbishing the toilet facilities in the Buea central Prison in order to improve health care.
ICENECDEV undertakes annually donations in the Buea Central Prison and juvenile correctional centre-Borstal Institute Buea with local support. Some of the items donated include, clothes, soaps, detergents, exercise and text books, drugs, forest saving stoves, food, computers.