Prison Reform Intervention in Africa (PRIA)

In 2010, PRAWA in partnership with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), the African Correctional Services Association (ACSA), the International Corrections and Prisons Association(ICPA) and the Prisons/Correctional Services in the piloted countries commenced the Prison Reforms Intervention in Africa (PRIA) Project. This is a 3-Year Project supported by the Dutch Government in six African countries namely Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The main purpose of this project is to promote effective and sustainable prison reforms in Africa which is in compliance with international and regional human rights standards and good governance and to improve the human rights situation of those in prison custody.

The project is designed to have three main components namely:

  • Country-based Component.
  • Continental Component.
  • International component.

These components are to be implemented in two phases.

  • Baseline Survey.
  • Follow-up activities within the three project components.

The Baseline survey phase which involved assessment of practices and situations in prisons of the six focal countries ended in May 2011. The second phase of the project which is driven by the recommendations of the Baseline survey is aimed at achieving the project’s major purpose.

The project major purpose involves:

  • Training.
  • Capacity Building.
  • Advocacy.
  • Sharing of Experience.
  • Knowledge and support for the development and implementation of practical interventions to improve conditions of prisons.

Project Objective
The project objectives are as follows:

  • Contributing to the knowledge based on the conditions, structure and nature of prisons/penal systems and the parliamentary and other oversight and support mechanisms aimed at facilitating and sustaining prison reforms in the targeted countries.
  • Strengthening the capacity of prison officers, NGOs, and other related practitioners interested in prison reforms in Africa to effectively interact/support the mechanism of the African Commission on Human Rights and People’s’ Rights and other independent oversight mechanisms at the sub-regional, regional.continental levels, aimed at improving Human Rights Standards in African prisons.
  • Facilitate the sharing of experience and knowledge on best prison/correctional practices in Africa and documentation of best practices in Africa as well as providing opportunity for learning from the experience of other jurisdictions.
  • Strengthening the capacity of the parliamentary mechanisms and other related support and oversight mechanisms responsible for effective governance, oversight and accountability of correctional/prison and justice sector in the targeted countries as well as building the capacity of the prisons/correctional services, related government agencies and Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs)/Civil society Organizations (CSOs) to effectively engage with these processes.
  • Training the Prison Officers of the Information, Communication and Technology Departments on Web design and its Maintenance.

Project Activities
These include the following:

  • Baseline Research and other related research.
  • Training and Capacity Building.
  • Knowledge and experience sharing.
  • .Enhancing support, oversight and coordination towards promoting prison reforms in Africa both at regional/continental level as targeted country levels.
  • Providing linkage between the targeted countries and regional and international platforms such as the international Prisons and Correctional Association (ICPA) and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), etc.