Sabahi (Washington, DC)

22 January 2013

Tanzanian Prisons Filled With Minor Offenders

A parliamentary committee charged with investigating the state of Tanzania's prisons found that 90% of prisoners are unemployed youth facing minor charges, committee chairman Edward Lowassa said on Monday (January 21st).

Lowassa advocated the use of case flow management to address the prisoners' cases in a timelier manner, Tanzania's The Guardian reported. "These departments must consolidate their work and collaborate instead of every department working individually and as a result delaying through bureaucracy and inefficiency," he said.

He said it is dangerous for the country to keep people imprisoned on minor charges for extended periods of time, especially when 23% face what he called "very minor cases".

The parliamentary committee for defence, security and foreign affairs also advocated better access to information for prisoners and the re-instatement of a juvenile justice system in Tanzania.

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