National
Prisons boss blames judiciary for congestion
Publish Date: Jun 14, 2012
Prisons boss blames judiciary for congestion
A cross-section of prisoners attend to a lecture in the prisons yard. PHOTO by Petride Mudoola
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Petride Mudoola

The Commissioner General of Prisons, Dr. Johnson Byabashaija has blamed the criminal justice system for the increasing congestion in prisons.

According to Byabashaija, Uganda Prison Services has a congestion rate of 250%, which he says calls for immediate interventions to ensure “effective management of detention facilities countrywide.”

The Prisons boss was at the opening of the African Commissioners of Prisons Executive meeting held at Speke Resort Munyonyo last week.

The meeting was aimed at enhancing collective efforts to deal with challenges facing penal systems in Africa and overcoming the spread of HIV/AIDS.

 “Prisons are overcrowded because criminal justice systems are not deposing of cases in time. If cases are deposed of and criminals either released or sentenced, Prisons would merely accommodate convicted prisoners, hence minimize congestion,” Byabashaija observed.

He noted that 52% 0f the inmates are awaiting trial while only 48% have been convicted, and appealed to the agencies that deliver justice to harmonize their activities to ensure that there is faster dispensation of justice.

Besides violation of the prisoner's rights, congestion leads  to transmission  of communicable diseases  among prisoners  since  prison  lacks  isolation  facilities  for those  with serious ailments such as tuberculosis, Byabashaija argued.

He pointed out the increasing number of convicts serving long sentences as another challenge contributing to congestion.

Upper Prison singly accommodates 1266 convicts serving long term sentences. Of these, 420 inmates are on death row and another 242 convicts each serving a life imprisonment.

One person was sentenced to 310 years in prison and another 70 years. Two detainees are serving 65 years each, 19 prisoners are serving 50 years each, 45 convicts each serving 25 years and 37 inmates are serving 40 years each.

 Despite the increasing rate of prisoners serving long sentences, the Ministry of Public Service has not considered recruiting more staff to match the growing population. As a result authorities are strained  by  the escalating prisons population.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
U.S commends Uganda over Peace Corps program
The United States (U.S) government has commended Uganda for its long-term partnership between U.S Peace Corps and the Ugandan people which has enabled Peace Corps volunteers facilitate...
UBOS: census results for December 2015
The results of August national housing census will be released in December next yaer, Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) has announced....
IN the recent past, some members of the public have blamed midwives for mistreatment of patients especially expectant mothers, something that has tainted the image of the midwifery sector...
Regional leaders in Juba for talks on South Sudan
Regional leaders are meeting in Juba for an (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) IGAD Summit on South Sudan....
Access to safe water improving
THE percentage of Ugandans with access to safe and clean water in urban areas has improved over the last one year, the 2014 water and environment sector performance report shows...
Street vending: KCCA arrests buyers, vendors
KAMPALA Capital City Authority (KCCA) has arrested over 20 vendors who were operating their businesses along the City streets. Buyers were also arrested....
Related Stories
Was Oscar Pistorius' 5 year sentence fair and just?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter