Only 4% of all prison inmates are female. It doesn’t surprise, then, that most of the information on prison inmates and, consequently, most interventions designed for inmates focus on the needs and experiences of male inmates. In a world where women are still structurally discriminated against, it is imperative to develop gender-specific interventions in all fields, including the rehabilitation and reintegration of female prison inmates.
This paper brings together the lessons learnt and recommendations from interventions implemented with the Uganda Prisons Service in Lango, Acholi and West Nile. Successful rehabilitation and reintegration can only be achieved through partnerships and commitment by all stakeholders. Thus, this paper lobbies for the active involvement of local government structures. The paper also puts forward recommendations for future interventions in the fields of rehabilitation and reintegration for women in prison and also for their children who sometimes have no alternative but to stay in incarceration with their mothers.
Strategic Goal 1:
Transformation of vulnerable individuals and communities
During 2019, several interventions implemented responded to issues of reintegration of vulnerable (ex-)prison inmates whose cases related to violent conflicts in their communities and gender-based violence, and of strengthening the capacities of existing structures to rehabilitate and reintegrate youths in order to address the root cause of such issues in order to bring about positive change. For example, interventions implemented in partnership with Uganda Prisons Services (UPS) and funded by the EU, CACH, AGEH and the German Embassy in prison units in Lango, Acholi and West Nile have proven the impact of rehabilitation and reintegration services in reforming inmates. This is noted below.
In 2016, Advance Afrika, together with Caritas Switzerland, received funding from the European Union to expand its social reintegration efforts of ex-prison inmates in northern Uganda. As a result, the Economic Empowerment and Social Reintegration of Youth Ex-Prisoners project, a three-year action implemented by Advance Afrika in partnership with the Uganda Prisons Service with funding from the European Union and Caritas Switzerland, was launched. The project focused on the social economic rehabilitation and reintegration of 1,200 youth prisoners in 28 prison units in the Acholi and Lango sub-regions in northern Uganda.
North Uganda is still recovering from a two decades-long civil war that ended in 2006. The consequences on infrastructure, education, development and so on will last for a long time. In addition, the country is facing high unemployment among youth and the population keeps growing at a very high rate, to the point that many speak about a “demographic bomb”. While countless people are struggling, a specific category of Ugandan is especially vulnerable to poverty, stigmatization and discrimination: young inmates. With an occupation rate higher than 300%1, Ugandan prisons are among the most crowded in the world. While the government is putting real effort towards rehabilitation, numerous challenges are likely to be faced by ex-inmates once released.
The Economic Empowerment and Social Reintegration of Youth Ex-prisoners (SREE) project is a three-year intervention implemented by Advance Afrika in partnership with Uganda Prisons Service (UPS) with support and funding from Caritas Switzerland and the European Union. The project focuses on the socio-economic rehabilitation and reintegration of 1,200 youth prisoners in 26 prison units in the Acholi and Lango sub-regions in northern Uganda. The project seeks to contribute to promoting economic development, good governance and the prevention of crime and social or political insecurity.
This study was commissioned by Advance Afrika with support and funding from ICCO and Edukans to assess the inclusivity, access and outreach of rural advisory services (RAS); the quality, relevance and delivery of the skills; and opportunities for privatepublic actors to increase the accessibility of RAS in Abim, Lira and Soroti districts. The study was conducted using a mixed methods approach based on a cross-sectional design. Data was collected from smallholder farmers, relevant district and sub-county officials and private RAS providers both from NGOs and private-for-profit organisations using questionnaires and interviews. (more…)