Prison committee must execute its mandate – Rohee

Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee on Saturday appealed to members of the Prison Visiting Committee (PVC) to pay more attention to their role of highlighting the ills in the prison system and making recommendations for improvements.

According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release, Rohee told the PVC that the ministry needed critical analyses and reports about what is happening on issues such as welfare conditions, in order to mitigate the chances of prisoner revolts. “I am sure that most prisoners don’t do so [revolt] because they didn’t have a fair trial. They protest because of the prison conditions. The prison authority don’t want to speak about certain things because they feel if these things are brought in the open it would be an embarrassment and lead to some changes in the management,” he said.

The minister also told the meeting that the administration has made several interventions in areas such as rehabilitation and hosting special programmes in the prisons.

GINA said the PVC was formed during colonial times to look into the welfare of prisoners as regards their dietary needs and the sanitary and medical conditions of the penitentiaries. The PVC is expected to visit the prisons regularly to make assessments.

The meeting was hosted on Saturday at the Police Officers’ Mess, Eve Leary.

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