16 May 2019

Rwanda: Inmates Equipped With Various Skills to Break Criminality

Entering Rubavu Prison in Western Province one finds construction works going on as well as education.

Storied buildings in the prison were constructed by prisoners themselves, some of whom are civil engineers.

Johnston Busingye, the Minister for Justice, said they were committed to give inmates opportunities to be trained in vocational skills to help keep them away from prison again after release.

Busingye made the comment Tuesday while visiting Rubavu Prison in Western Province where 7117 men are incarcerated.

He noted that the ministry was cooperating with Workforce Development Authority (WDA) and Integrated Polytechnic Regional Colleges (IPRC) to have all prisoners acquire vocational skills that will prepare them for life prison.

On Thursday next week, the first bunch of 340 inmates in Rwamagana prison in Eastern Province will receive certificates after their training, Rwanda Correction Service Commissioner General, George Rwigamba told the media.

"We do this because punishment for going contrary to the law is not the end of the road," Rwigamba said

"We have prisoners with a variety of skills. We use them to train others who eventually do construction works for the prison," he said.

"Some started as porters on constriction sites. They performed well in training and will now get certificates in construction," added.

The certificates awarded to the inmates do not show they got them from prison to avoid biasing employers, Rwigamba said.

There are over 68,000 inmates in 13 prisons around the country, five for women and one for juveniles.

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