Advance Afrika together with Uganda Prisons Service convened a meeting of Civil Society Organizations working with Uganda Prisons Service on social rehabilitation and reintegration of prison inmates. The meeting which attracted 24 participants from not-for-profit organizations, donor agencies and Uganda Prisons Service took place on March 5, 2018 at Uganda Prisons Service headquarters in Kampala.
Premised on sharing experiences and good practices of not-for-profit actors, the purpose of the convening was to explore synergies for effective delivery of social rehabilitation and reintegration services. The meeting also sought to establish a coalition that will develop a joint advocacy strategy to lobby reforms to the current inmates’ rehabilitation and reintegration system in Uganda.Ideas generated from the meeting will be tabled at a breakfast meeting with Members of Parliament for consultation, action and possible policy influence.
The following recommendations came out as responses to challenges that were identified by partners.
- Civil Society Organizations need to liaise with Uganda Prisons Service to ascertain gaps where civil society intervention would maximize results. The collaboration between Uganda Prisons Service and civil society should proceed on the basis of clear diagnosis of a challenge, proposed intervention and the capacity to effectively execute implementation
- Conduct a mapping of actors and develop a matrix to be shared among partners for ease of reference
- Identify and draw on the specialist expertise of partners to deal with emerging needs of inmates
- Standardize the content of modules for the skilling interventions across implementing partners
- Identify specific areas of research interest and work with Uganda Prisons Service to conduct research studies which address identified gaps
- Partners need to invest in documenting and publicizing the successes, impact and challenges of their interventions
- Proactively and continuously engage communities to promote mindset change from punitive to corrective approach to rehabilitation