The Analyst (Monrovia)

18 January 2013

Liberia: Justice Ministry Launches Probation In Nimba

In an effort to have all part of the country benefit from the justice system, the Ministry of Justice with support from the German government through GIZ has extended probation services to Nimba County.

The Ministry Justice Tuesday January 15, 2013 launched Probation program in Sannequellie, Nimba County to officially extend the exercise in that part of the country to first offender inmate a second chance.

Probation is part of the division of the Bureau of Correction and Rehabilitation at the Ministry of Justice which is aim at giving first time offenders the chance to pay back to the community for the wrong they have done.

Speaking at the launch of the probation services in the northern part of Liberia in Justice Minister Cllr. Christiana Tah noted that everyone in jail needs to be there.

Cllr. Tah said the activation of the probation service in the country is intended to give first offenders of minor crimes the chance to change by doing community services with good behavior change.

Liberia's Attorney General said corrections and rehabilitation can not only be done by jailing offenders but also can be done in community with the help of community members.

She said with the activation probation, government can divert money being used to feed and medicate inmates to other social welfare needs for the citizens of Liberia.

Cllr Tah said probation is also aimed at reducing the over crowdedness at prisons in the country and reduce the number of high code criminal in the country.

She further that with the program, the first time offenders of minor crimes will on more be introduced to high code criminal activities by hard code criminals who are in prisons.

The chief launcher of the probation services County, Nimba Superintendent Christiana Dagado called on government to include agriculture as part of vocational program under the probation program.

The Superintendent who gown Minister Cllr. Tah and GIZ program Manager Dr. Stefan Rusche on behalf of the people of Nimba County, also wants government to build save home in the county.

The program presenting running in Montserrado and Bong Counties with Nimba and Lofa Counties are two additional Counties making it four to benefit from the program since it establishment in 2010

Probation, like parole and corrections have been on the Liberian Law book since 1970s

Meanwhile, the coordinator of Probation Program Mr. Ali Sylla has promised to cover the country with the program within the next three years enable all Liberian who are in prison for manor crimes to benefit from the services too.

He also disclosed that Probation program will be launch in Lofa Country on the January 22, 2013 with deployment of probation service officer to be assigned in that country.

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