Twelve (12) staff of the Bureau of Corrections (BCR) of the Ministry of Justice, have completed a one-week training in investigation and intelligence.
The intensive exercise held at the Gbarnga Regional Security Hub, 07-12 October, covered Correction Officers from five Counties-Lofa, Maryland, Grand Gedeh, Bong and Nimba.
The aim is to increase the knowledge, understanding and professionalism of the BCR Investigation unit.
The task of Correction Officers is to investigate misconduct/failure to comply with rules and regulations and to take actions aimed at improving the safety and security of inmates in the BCR facilities.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with funding from the Government of Sweden in partnership with Irish Aid, Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights and the Bureau of Corrections organized the capacity development training to strengthen and improve accountability in BCR facilities, which will also lead to building public confidence.
BCR’s Director of Training Edwin McGill described the initiative as the “heartbeat" of the Bureau, urging the new investigators to ably represent their institutions with integrity, accountability and transparency.
“You are the distinct Frontliners under the radar of the public that must stay above the fray. The code of conduct must be seen through you. We will expect nothing less than high standards in the execution of your duties in weeding out unwholesome acts that impede the security of inmates at your prisons,” McGill noted.
He called their attention to the use of the code of conduct which serves as the guide to their impartial performance in dealing with inmates and other colleagues at their places of assignment.
“We expect you as investigators not to abuse your authority, neither use sentiments as a basis for your investigation but rather report on facts and evidence,” the BCR Director stressed.
Mr. McGill lauded the support from UNDP and its partners toward the training needs of the Bureau, emphasizing ownership and sustainability of the programme.
Also making remarks on behalf of UNDP Resident Representative Pa Lamin Beyai, Joel Gblee, Programme Associate under the Justice and Security Programme, encouraged beneficiaries to use the skills and knowledge acquired to bring pride to the Bureau of Corrections.
“The training has added to your transformation as dignified and astute officers. You must apply the knowledge to bring glory and integrity not only to your institutions but to Liberia as a whole,” Gblee pointed out.
He praised the facilitation of the training performed by Liberians versed in the field. “You are top notch and the best in the business. I was astoundingly impressed with your facilitation,” Joel emphasized.
Comments also came from the Deputy Director of Training S. Ballah Massaquoi, the office of the Deputy Superintendent of the Gbarnga Prison and the Hub Management.
The three Representatives admonished the trainees to use their new roles to dispense justice with fairness.
Topics covered during the training included Security Threat Groups, Investigation and intelligence information, Code of Conduct, Early Warning, evidence gathering, security management, and incident investigation process among others.