Prison services launches strategic four-year plan


Minister Morgan addressing guests at the launch ceremony

A ceremony was held on Thursday afternoon at the International Conference Centre to officially launch the manual, which is a work of various partners, and the help of the management consultants from the Seychelles Institute of Management.

Stakeholders who had contributed towards the project include the police, probation services, the courts, health services, the church as well as non-governmental organisations, all of whom worked together to find the best approach to manage offenders in a joint and effective way.

The strategic plan offers new and more effective methods to reduce repeat offenders and make our communities safer, while aiming to develop and implement a human rights approach to prison management and rehabilitation, which meets minimum international standards.

Keeping in mind that a prison serves the two purposes of carrying out the sentence of the courts and the other being rehabilitation, the plan revolves around the implementation of six strategic goals, which are to

• Improve the provision of appropriate care and safety of prisoners
• Develop a solid framework for rehabilitation and social re-integration of prisoners
• Enhance the safety of the public and prison personnel
• Improve human resource capacity to effectively maintain the prison service’s core operations and deliver a range of services to the prisoners
• Improve physical infrastructure within the prison services to be able to deliver on its vision
• Effectively engage with stakeholders and partners
• Increase the prison services’ effort to enhance financial sustainability.
The launch ceremony was attended by a number of guests, who included the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport Joel Morgan, chief justice Fredrick Egonda-Ntende, President of the Court of Appeal Francis Macgregor and representatives of the European Union, who is financing the project under its 10th European Development Fund. 

Also present were the commissioner of police Ernest Quatre, leader of the opposition in the National Assembly David Pierre and other members of parliament.

Addressing the guests, Minister Morgan said the government remains steadfast in its commitment towards dealing robustly with crime and already positive changes are being made across the criminal justice system to enable this to happen in the interest of protecting the public.

“Our prison service is however not a stand-alone organisation and stakeholders are expected to expand their services into our prisons, to do their part in helping all offenders work towards a purposeful, healthy and crime-free lifestyle while in custody and upon release,” he said.

“The process, in which an offender enters the criminal justice system, is managed within it and eventually leaves to rejoin the community, must become clearer. There must be a pathway for the offenders to follow that allows them to address their offending behaviours so they can become constructive members of society upon release.”

The superintendent of the prison services Maxime Tirant said change will be apparent over the coming weeks and months with regard to the implementation of the strategic plan.

“New staff will be recruited and trained, a new prison uniform issued, new rules and procedures for running the prisons produced, and basic services upgraded,” he said.

“Many of our inmates today can be described as ‘one person crime wave’ who commits acquisitive crime to fund their addictions. It may be all they know, but they are not lost causes. Things can change. Rehabilitation and employability must become a greater priority of the criminal justice system.”

Mr Tirant hands over a copy of the plan to CJ Egonda-Ntende

A copy of the strategic plan was then presented to Minister Morgan, Mr Pierre, CJ Egonda-Ntende and a representative of the Friends of Prison NGO, Gilles Nageon de Lestang.

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