The Sierra Leone Prisons Service last Thursday 14 February officially launched its website, which is expected to closely bringthe activities of the Prisons to the public - both nationally and internationally.
Dennis K. Harman of the Prison Service said the website is a system of document that can be accessed through the internet and that they wanted to give wider access to the public about the operations of the Prisons.He explained that the initiative of launching the website was in line with the 'Agenda for Prosperity' as the Prisons Service is about to join the global network in giving the public vast knowledge about their society. Harmanadded that the website would also fast-track the work of Prisons and provide education for the children of inmates as well as those of prisons officers, noting: "Children of inmates are the future prisoners". Director of Prisons, Sanpha Bilo Kamara, said the launch of the website was a move in the right direction as they are poised to transform the Prisons Service into a correctional centre. He thanked the German and Nigerian embassies for their support in constructing a primary school for his department.
Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Sheka Tarawalie, said he was a former prisoner not as a lawbreaker but as a result of his profession and that he knew what the needs of prisoners and prisons officers were.
He maintained that launching a website was an appropriate thing to do in the 21st century; a development he said would help the Prisons Service to interact with other institutions both national and international.
Mr.Tarawalie explained that people normally take the prisons to be a 'no-go area' and that the condition of the prisons was not in good state, noting that inmates were often referred to as "bad eggs" in society. But this tagging, he said, he has proved to be wrong based on his recent visit to the prisons.
The deputy minister noted that there were activities including tailoring, carpentry and other works that inmates were engaged in, and there is also a library to keep them busy.
"We will see to it that the condition of the prisons improve and we'll also focus on the officers and their dependants because their work is challenging. We will build schools for children of prisoners and those of prison officers," Tarawalie pledged.
He promised to be monitoring the website on a daily basis and called on the officers responsible for updating it to do so with current events and adequate information.