15 May 2019, Juba - The National Prisons Service of South Sudan (NPSSS) feted the graduation of the fourth batch of 172 inmates and prison staff trained in twelve trades at the Vocational Training Center in Juba Central Prison on Wednesday. A new database management center, located in the NPSSS headquarters, was also warmly inaugurated by Minister of Interior Lt. Gen. Michael Chiangjiek Geay, H.E. Janet Alberda, Ambassador of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Sudan, Mayor of Juba City Council Hon. Lt. Gen. Samir Khamis Suleman, Jubek State Minister of Education, Science and Technology Hon. Wani Sule, UNDP Resident Representative Kamil Kamaluddeen, Director of UNMISS Rule of Law James Aguin, INGOs and senior officials from NPSSS.
“When a person is sent to prison, they do not become a bad person. Prisoners are not here for punishment but to change. You, the inmates here today who have completed this training, are an example of this change. The vocational training you have done is going to help not only you but also add value to our nation,” said Minister of Interior Lt. Gen. Michael Chiengjiek Geay, adding his appreciation to the Kingdom of Netherlands for the continued support to the Vocational Training Center and the establishment of the new database system.
“The National Prisons Service of South Sudan recognizes the importance of a strong prisons’ administration to ensure that information is accurate and humane treatment of prisoners are extended to the inmates,” said Deputy Director-General of Prisons Service Lt. Gen. William Andrea Lado, representing the Director General of NPSSS, at the ceremony held on the ground at the Vocational Training Center. “NPSSS is committed to ensure that human rights of inmates are protected, and the causes of prolonged and arbitrary detention are addressed.”
Established in 2016, the Juba Central Prison Vocational Training Center, funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is a collaboration of the NPSSS under the Ministry of Interior, as well as the Ministry of General Education, Science and Technology; the Ministry of Labour and Human Resource Development; and UNDP. UNMISS Rule of Law contributed technical expertise to the software development of the new inmate database system.
“Our support to the Vocational Training Center comes from the people of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, who have chosen to support the skills-building of the people here in South Sudan. We believe firmly that peace and justice together are the only way forward to a sustainable peace which protects and promotes the rights of individuals. We are hopeful that NPSSS will continue his path of protecting the human rights of inmates. I congratulate the trainees gathered today and wish you luck in your future path,” said H.E. Janet Alberda, Ambassador of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Sudan.
The vocational training programme aims to prevent recidivism by imparting technical skills to inmates that will enable them to pursue productive activities, earn their livelihoods and facilitate reintegration into their communities when released. The programme is part of UNDP’s Access to Justice and Rule of Law project. The project supports traditional justice and community level interventions through a sector-wide, holistic approach designed to increase the availability, affordability, adaptability, and acceptability of justice services in South Sudan.
The latest graduating class brings the total VTC trainees to 591 inmates and 139 prison personnel, across the twelve trades on offer: carpentry and joinery, building and construction, electrical installation, metal fabrication and welding, auto mechanics, agriculture, hair dressing and beauty therapy, tailoring and fashion design, bakery, food processing, plumbing and information technology. The facility has been registered as a commercial company and is marketing its services and products to make the workshop self-sustainable.
“For the 730 people who have completed these courses, we are writing a story of the good things we can do when we work together to provide a second chance and seize opportunities to become better. With support from the NPSSS and partners involved here, you can now go forth and become electricians, plumbers, masons, agriculturalists, and more. But this is not only about you – when each of you succeed you are doing so much more. You are providing for families. You are providing services for your fellow citizens which will improve their lives. You are contributing to your nation through your skills and hard work,” said UNDP Resident Representative Dr. Kamil Kamaluddeen in remarks delivered at the occasion.
In addition to the latest cohort and the establishment of the database facility, Dr. Kamaluddeen announced that UNDP continues to work closely with NPSSS on finalizing arrangements to start the next batch of trainings in Juba and shared plans to launch the programme’s expansion to Wau prison.
For more information contact:
Major General Anthony Oliver, Director Public Relations Director, NPSSS: ++21192655049
Kymberly Bays, UNDP Communications: email@example.com and +211 920580239
About UNDP South Sudan Access to Justice and Rule of Law Programme
The UNDP Access to Justice and Rule of Law Project is supported by the Kingdom of Netherlands, Government of Japan, and Sweden. The Project works to strengthen the capacity of the Police, Prisons, Ministry of Justice and Judiciary by reducing case backlog; addressing prolonged and arbitrary detention; harmonizing traditional and formal justice sector; and increasing access to justice for the people of South Sudan.
UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.