Issue Three: PRISON REFORM
This report focuses on the work being done by civil society in eight of the largest prisons in Oromia and Amhara; this includes addressing the specific injustice of innocent children being incarcerated with their mothers, who are in prison for various offences. Prison authorities are aware but have had few options for tackling the problem. CSSP and its partners have supported the first step in the reform process by supporting partnerships between the prison authorities and two CSOs to develop within prison the kinds of safe, learning environments in which the children can lead a more productive life with their mothers. This has been part of a wider initiative to improve the prison services, address the needs of juvenile offenders, empower prison inmates, encourage policy reform and support prisoners and their families – including a renewed focus on rehabilitation.
One key achievement has been recognition by local government bureaus that prison populations also need to be included in health and education planning. It is believed that this work has influenced Government to include more detailed approaches to prison reform in GTPII.
During the extension phase, CSSP’s support for work on prison reform will continue and learning from experience to date will also be promoted with other regions.