8 June 2017, JUBA – The National Prisons Service of South Sudan (NPSSS) celebrated the graduation of a new batch of 143 inmates trained in eight trades at the Vocational Training Centre in Juba Central Prison on Thursday. The four-month training programme includes theory and extensive practical sessions.
Deputy Minister of Interior Hon. Riaw Gatliir Gai presided over the graduation ceremony, which was attended by Director General of Prisons General Henry Kuany, United Nations Development Programme Country Director Kamil Kamaluddeen, and senior officials from NPSSS.
UNDP’s Access to Justice and Rule of Law Project, with funding from the Kingdom of the Netherlands, supports NPSSS to promote prisoners’ rehabilitation through the establishment of the Vocational Training Centre at Juba Central Prison. The centre aims to reduce recidivism by imparting technical skills to inmates that enable them to earn a living and facilitate their rehabilitation as contributors to society when released.
“I take this opportunity to congratulate all the trainees for successfully completing the training. You have the opportunity now to take these skills and help build this nation,” said UNDP Country Director Kamil Kamaluddeen in remarks delivered at the occasion.
Speaking at the graduation, Deputy Interior Minister Hon. Riaw Gatliir Gai said the mission of the Vocational Training Centre is to make inmates useful rather than just punishing them for their crimes. He stressed that this will help the inmates to demonstrate their skills in society and not think of committing crimes in future.
NPSSS also inaugurated new facilities located at the Vocational Training Centre to expand instruction into four new trades: information and communication technology (ICT), food processing, bakery, and plumbing. UNDP renovated existing buildings for use as the new classrooms, including a fully functional computer lab, and supplied equipment and materials required for instruction. The new instruction trades will be offered in addition to the existing training programmes in eight trades: carpentry, masonry, electrician, welding, vehicle mechanics, agriculture, hair dressing and tailoring. The project engaged the Ministry of General Education and the Ministry of Labor, locally-recruited trainers and NPSSS staff to develop training curricula in line with the curricula used in other technical schools in South Sudan.
The facility has been registered as a commercial company and is marketing its services and products to make the workshop self-sustainable. The new facilities include plans to make sections of the Vocational Training Centre more accessible to the public to receive services and buy products.