In expanding its support to the National Prisons Service of South Sudan, the United Nations Development Program partnered with Stanbic Bank through the Stanbic Foundation to support the prisons vocational training centers (VTCs) at the Juba, Wau, and Malakal Central Prisons. The support aims to strengthen the rehabilitation, reform, and reintegration of inmates back into society upon release and reduce reoffence.
Destitution and lack of empowerment, underpinned by a widespread absence of productive capacities and income generation opportunities, are among the key factors sustaining the vicious cycle of conflict, increase in crime, and incarceration rates in South Sudan. When serving their sentences, the prisoners do not have to access education or vocational training in the mainstream training institutions. Upon release, they are often shunned, and normally institutions are reluctant or unable to prioritize them for vocational training initiatives.
Through our support to the justice and penal institutions of South Sudan, UNDP is committed to building the capacity of the prisons service to rehabilitate prisoners by widening their options and engaging them through skills enhancement. Consequently, the vocational training at the prisons fills a gap that can otherwise lead to reoffending and an increase in criminal activity. This promotes social inclusion for them and helps them secure a hopeful future so that they are not left behind in the country’s development. The three VTCs are accredited by the Ministry of General Education and provide training courses in 12 disciplines through instruction by a group of skilled instructors.
UNDP established the in-prisons VTC programme with support from the Kingdom of the Netherlands in collaboration with the National Prisons Service of South Sudan under the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of General Education, the Ministry of Labour and Human Resource Development. The new initiative between UNDP and Stanbic, which is anchored on the existing partnership between UNDP and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is leveraged on the 2030 Agenda, which calls for new partnerships in the advancement of Sustainable Development Goals. In supporting Goal 16, the initiative will enhance support to promote entrepreneurship and leverage business solutions to address the reoffending challenge among young people.
The initial phase of the new partnership saw the donation of 20 desktop computers to the VTCs by Stanbic Bank. The bank, through its foundation, has committed to further supporting the Prisons VTC programme through its partnership with UNDP.