As part of our support to the Central African Ministry of Justice for the implementation of the national strategy for the demilitarization of the CAR’s prisons, Penal Reform International, as implementing partner of MINUSCA initiated and organised a vocational training for people detained in Ngaragba, Bimbo and Berberati prisons in CAR. The objectives of this vocational training are as follows:
- to contribute to the reduction of overcrowding in prisons through prevention of recidivism,
- to contribute to security in prisons through the useful occupation of detainees,
- to give an opportunity to detainees to learn a job to support their reintegratation into society after release,
- the long-term contribution to the development of the communities in which the detainees live, as young people constitute development actors.
This vocational training, which also contributes to the implementation of the national policy of social reintegration of convicted people in prison, involved 62 young people including 7 women. The beneficiaries were trained for three months in the fields of carpentry, plumbing, and the manufacture of solar ovens specifically for women involved in the programme.
This week, an official ceremony was held to mark the end of the programme where beneficiaries were awarded certificates for their participation. Chaired by the Director of Cabinet of the Minister of State in charge of Justice, Human Rights and Good Governance, the ceremony was attended by several national and international actors involved in the prison reform process and relatives of those who completed the programme.
An exhibition of some products manufactured by detainees during the training was held.
These product will be sold and funds from the sales will be used to ensure the continuity of the programme through the creation of a production unit within the prison. That will allow further trainings for other beneficiaries to take place. A part of these funds will also be used as a savings for those working in the production unit. These savings will be given to the beneficiaries upon their release to enable them to develop their own business.
The representative of the Minister of Justice and the detainees expressed their great satisfaction for the success of these training sessions, hailing its importance and wishing the continuation of this vocational training.
The detainees especially expressed their gratitude to PRI and MINUSCA for this initiative which is the first of it’s kind. They pledged to put the knowledge they acquired into practice and not to re-offend thanks to the training they received.
MINUSCA also welcomed this initiative from its strategic partner (PRI) and the excellent collaboration between the two institutions in the implementation of the prison reform.
For its part, PRI intends to work on the sustainability of such activities and to continue the follow-up in order to create real conditions for the resocialisation of people in prison in CAR following release.
In partnership with MINUSCA, actions are envisaged for the continuity and extension of this initiative in other prisons in the country.