and Ann Mugisa
THE Government has started rehabilitating dilapidated prisons most of which were under local governments.
Uganda Prisonsâ€™ deputy commissioner general James Mwanje told judges and magistrates that: â€œSince the Uganda Prisons Service took over local governments prisons under the 2006 Prisons Act, there has been tremendous improvement in the conditions of the inmates.â€
Mwanje was presenting a paper at the 11th roundtable conference for judges, magistrates and court registrars at Ridar Hotel in Seeta on Friday.
He said the Prisons Act of 2006 was intended to protect prisonersâ€™ rights. â€œThe law, for example, abolished cruel practices like the stripping of inmates when entering prison for the first time and penal diet, which was a severe reduction in the meal rations given to a prisoner as a punishment.â€
Mwanje added that the Prisons department was transforming prisons to make them correctional and rehabilitative instead of emphasising the punitive aspect.
He also said new prisons were being constructed in Gulu, Namalu, Rukungiri, Moroto, Apac and Muinaina to reduce congestion.
The two-day conference was organised by the Judicial Studies Institute and the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative.
Govt to improve prisonersâ€™ conditions