UNMIL recognizes Liberia’s new Corrections Plan and Operating Procedures

Liberian Correctional Officer standing in front of Monrovia Central Prison building ©UNMIL Photo: Clement Atitwa

5 May 2017

UNMIL recognizes Liberia’s new Corrections Plan and Operating Procedures

Monrovia – On 11 April 2017, Justice Minister and Attorney General Frederick D. Cherue approved the Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation (BCR) Five-year Strategic Plan and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) supported the development of this first BCR Strategic Plan which is recognized as “a step in the right direction” by Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Political and Rule of Law, Waldemar Vrey on learning about the new development.

The new SOPs are aligned to the Mandela Minimum Rules for the treatment of Prisoners and other human rights conventions to meet international correction "best practices". Hillary Siakor-Sirleaf, Assistant Minister of Justice, Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said that successful achievements in the exercise of the Ministry of Justice's mandates are critical to the government's strides for sustained recovery and rebuilding of the legal and other infrastructures of the nation.  Likewise, Lucy Gachie, Head of the UNMIL Corrections Unit added that these strategic documents will definitely address some systemic weaknesses within the national corrections sector.

A Public Defender’s office, supported by UNMIL Quick Impact Project, has been set up at the Monrovia Central prison to facilitate speedy trials.  The prison holds 81 percent of Liberia’s pretrial detainees. In addition, a tailoring skills training program has been initiated to equip inmates with livelihood skills necessary for reintegration upon release.

UNMIL will soon cease support to the BCR as part of its withdrawal from Liberia.