The Justice Sector Development Programme (JSDP) will hand over the refurbished Judges’ and Magistrates’ quarters and the newly constructed Prison Officers quarters in Makeni, Northern Sierra Leone, to the judiciary and the Prisons Service, respectively, in a colourful ceremony today.
Sierra Leone’s Justice Sector is under-resourced and facing serious problems of logistical concern, such as lack of infrastructure and equipment. JSDP aims to improve access to justice for the poor by strengthening the capacity of the justice system to deliver fair and equitable justice. Therefore, the JSDP Task Force and the previous projects working with the Sierra Leone Police (SLP), the Prisons Service and the Judiciary, identified and have supported a number of infrastructure and equipment needs within the justice sector, across the country.
In Makeni, the refurbishment of the Judges’ and Magistrates’ quarters, which included the provision of furniture, commenced in March 2007 and was completed in January 2008.The construction of the new quarters and a hand-pump water well for Prison Officers; and a perimeter wall round the prison compound, in Makeni, lasted from January to July 2007. Total cost of construction, including the services of consultants, was nine hundred and sixty five million, five hundred thousand Leones (Le 965,500,000.00).
The construction of Prison Officers’ quarters in Kambia, Kabala and Kailahun and the Women’s Prison Wing in Kenema, is in progress.
Strengthening the capacity of the justice system through the provision of infrastructure and equipment will not only improve safety and security and respect for human rights, but will also provide an effective mechanism through which, poor people can address grievances. Furthermore, it will also assist in fostering an environment in which the wider aspects of development can take place in Sierra Leone
The Justice Sector Development Programme (JSDP) is a Government of Sierra Leone initiative, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and managed by the British Council. It is a five-year programme that started in March 2005 and operating in Freetown and the Moyamba District for the initial two-year phase.
The primary objective of the programme is to improve safety, security and access to justice for the people of Sierra Leone, particularly the poor, vulnerable and marginalized. JSDP is located at the British Council on Tower Hill in Freetown, Sierra Leone.