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Group picture of UN Corrections Expert, UNDP Resident Representative and the Technical Team of the Lesotho Corrections Services.

United Nations Corrections Expert Visits Lesotho Correctional Services

From 14 to 21 September 2022, the Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS) undertook a review of a draft Corrections Policy Manual with the support of UN New York Justice and Corrections Service expert 'M'e Thanujah Yogarajah, under the auspices of the Lesotho / UNDP Security Sector Reform for Peacebuilding Project. The Project’s aim is to create the conditions for successful security sector reforms (SSR) through cross-cutting objectives including drafting of a national security policy and strategy, and review of sectoral laws; strengthening internal and public oversight of the sector; and enhancing government and state security institutions’ engagement with society, and citizen participation in SSR. The project was born out of the 2019 Lesotho Multi-Stakeholder National Dialogue Plenary II as one of the elements to achieving the Lesotho National Reforms. In December 2020 the SSR Project was endorsed by the Government of Lesotho, coming to life in 2021 thanks to funding from the UN Secretary General’s Peacebuilding Fund and in partnership with UNDP, UN OHCHR, UN Women, and the National Reforms Authority (now the National Reforms Transitional Office).

UN Corrections Expert's Working Discussion on the LCS Policy Manual with LCS Policy "Penholders"

 

'M'e Yogarajah held five-days of detailed discussions with LCS Commissioner Mating Nkakala and Section Heads, LCS policy ‘penholders’ and correctional facilities staff members to review the Policy Manual. Together, they made significant recommendations for the finalisation of the manual and suggestions for other managerial, procedural and operational enhancements. In her review, 'M'e Yogarajah stated that Lesotho has institutional capacity and very good know-how (which are reflected in the draft Policy Manual), and with more support, the Correctional Services can grow into a world’s best-practice Service. While many know or hear stories of the problems inside prisons, 'M'e Yogarajah highlighted that very few Basotho are aware of the numerous good news stories, LCS professionalism under difficult circumstances and successful rehabilitation models employed in Lesotho’s prisons, from which Basotho can have hope.  

UN Corrections Expert visits Correctional Facilities in Berea, Lesotho

 

For their part, LCS expressed profound gratitude for 'M'e Yogarajah’s support to their efforts. 

During her mission, 'M'e Yogarajah also toured the Maseru Central Correctional Institution, the Female Correctional Institution, the Juvenile Training Centre, Corrections Staff Training School and the Berea Correctional Institution. 

At the end of her Mission, 'M'e Yogarajah met with the United Nations Country Team of Lesotho and some of the international diplomatic community to raise their awareness of the challenges and opportunities for LCS and the country’s prisons in rehabilitating Basotho men, women and children detained by the State.