The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is supporting the Ministry of Justice to train Corrections’ officers to enable them to exercise their duty of care to detainees and prisoners in line with international human rights standards and best practices.
The month-long training, started on 18 August 2021, with 64 of the officers drawn from various prisons countrywide designed to equip them with the skills required to perform their statutory duties of ensuring safe custody of pre-trial detainees, and of prisoners serving sentences, as well as to effectively rehabilitate prisoners.
“One-third of Liberia’s Corrections officers were recruited and deployed to work in prisons and places of detention without any formal training to enable them to perform their duties effectively. UNDP is working with the Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation (BCR) to correct this anomaly in order to ensure the safety and security of both the prisoners and the officers themselves,” said Violet Baffour, UNDP Liberia’s Deputy Resident Representative for Programme.
The BCR has 447 staff countrywide, out of whom 296 are trained while 151 are untrained.
The training, taking place at the Liberia National Police Training Academy in Paynesville, will cover security; self-defense; treatment of prisoners in accordance with international human rights standards and best practices; proper handling of vulnerable prisoners; transformative rehabilitation; officers’ code of conduct; administration; admission and release procedures, among other areas.
“UNDP is committed to supporting the government to upgrade the quality of services provided to people, including those held in prisons. We share the government’s desire to see international best practices applied in service delivery and human rights respected in all areas of service delivery,” said Ms. Baffour.
UNDP places a high premium on justice and security development, including at the legal, policy, capacity-building and service delivery levels.
This training represents one of the capacity building investments, which are meant to foster professionalism and institutional transformation in line with Liberia’s development agenda.