Rwanda swaps prisons with community work

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Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi has reiterated Government of Rwanda’s commitment to enhance professionalism in correctional services.

The Premier made the calls while addressing the 4th Biennial Conference of the African Correctional Services Association (ACSA) convened in Kigali.

Themed “Building a Professional Correctional System in Africa: A Strategic Objective”, the five-day conference gathers over 300 delegates from correctional services across Africa to discuss the management of Corrections and Penal Institutions on the continent.

Addressing the Conference, Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi said that prisoners should be involved in income generating activities to improve inmates’ wellbeing and benefit correctional facilities.

He urged government across the continent to turn prisons into production centres.

In a bid to improve lives of inmates, the Government subscribes all prisoners to a medical insurance scheme.

Premier Murekezi pointed out that the Government of Rwanda, in its efforts to enhance professional standards in Rwanda Correctional Services, has embarked on a significant infrastructure development programme.

“Recommendations from this Conference will be key to ensuring that African Correctional Services are more professional, more productive and contribute to wealth creation,” PM Murekezi said.

Referring to Rwanda’s abolition of the death penalty in 2007, PM Murekezi added that in the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Rwandans chose to live together as one people.

As an alternative penalty to imprisonment, Rwanda also introduced Community Works, commonly known as TIG.

ACSA offers to African Correctional Services a unique opportunity to learn from one another and share experiences in how to effectively manage Corrections and Penal Institutions on the continent.

The Conference convenes correctional experts, civil society players, researchers, academics, and other stakeholders from diverse correctional backgrounds.

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