A report released by the African Journal of Criminology and Justice named Rwanda the 6th country globally and 3rd in Africa to have the best prisons rehabilitation programmes.
According to the report, Rwanda follows Uganda and Zambia on the African continent, while on the global arena; Netherlands tops as the place with the least criminals. The country plans to close its detention facilities because there are no criminals there currently, the report says.
The report, which mainly based on each country’s ‘recidivism’ (Re-offending) indicated that Switzerland ranks second with recidivism of 22% followed by Norway 30%, Uganda 32%; Zambia 33% and Rwanda on the 6th place with 36% followed by Kenya and Tanzania at a rate of 47% respectively.
Re-offending (recidivism) refers to the number of times the same person is jailed in a year.
As at December 2013, the report showed the United States as the country with the worst crime record in the world with recidivism 90%. It was followed by South Africa, Germany and Asia tying at 74%.
Rwanda plans to reduce Prison Facilities
According to Rwanda Correctional Service, plans are underway to reduce prison facilities from fourteen to nine and relocate prisons to more spacious facilities.
The prisons body says it has also involved in relocating the prisons from urban centres to rural areas with large space where they can even have land to grow some crops.
The new plan, according to RCS, is estimated to cost about Rwf1billion francs and construction works already kicked off at some facilities.
Kigali’s famous 1930 prison to be relocated
The Kigali Prison, commonly known as ’1930′, will be relocated to Butamwa in the outskirts of Nyarugenge District, to pave way for development of the land where it is currently located. The new facility will also accommodate inmates from Remera Prison, another facility in Gasabo District. About Rwf1billion has been earmarked for construction of the new facility.
RCS’s rehabilitation programmes
Rwanda Correctional Service (RCS) has tremendously increased production through various income generating programs and activities. The above activities have mainly centred on government social and economic policies.
As part of achieving the objective of becoming a self-sustaining institution, Rwanda Correctional Service (RCS) has engaged inmates in agricultural production. According to RCS officials, the programme has tremendously increased production through various income generating programs and activities.
In Agriculture, RCS facilities have plantations of food crops to supplement the inmates’diet, provide additional feeding routines for children in prison with their mothers and increasing the dietary needs of sick inmates. Among the crops grown include beans, maize, cassava, rice, coffee, potatoes, vegetables, millet, among others. In other farming activities, RCS has invested in Cattle breeding, goats, piggery, poultry as well as other domestic animals.
Reducing re-offending rates
As part of reducing the rate of re-offenders, RCS has educated inmates on different social things like guiding them on moral standards that govern them once returned to their societies.
The prisons body involves its inmates in construction activities in a programme that relies on the skills of many inmates who are architects and engineers. A part from generating revenue, this section doubles as a form of social responsibility programme in which RCS constructs houses for vulnerable people such as orphans and genocide survivors.
As a result of the programme, man power has been provided for construction classrooms as part of the Nine and Twelve Year Basic Education (9YBE) programmes to support education sector in the country.