The Public Relations Officer of the maximum security prisons at Pademba road has countered wide spread speculations that the health conditions in that prison is appalling, stating that they no longer have problem with medication as government has assigned doctors and nurses to take care of inmates.
Mr. Mohamed Jimmy the Public Relations Officer of prisons however maintained that they are faced with certain constraints as a result of some delay on the part of contractors to supply in time.
Contractors to the prison department are expected to pre-finance contracts for three months after winning bids which they have complained they are not too comfortable with as some might face difficulties in securing funds to make such supplies.
Whether government pays contractors on time or not, article 19 of October 2nd 2008 human rights convention clearly stipulates that every individual whether in confinement or not has a right to live a better condition of life.
This means that every inmate has a right to a delicious diet and medication irrespective of their status.
The PRO stated that the prison was meant for 324 inmates but the current figure of inmates of that prison far outnumbers the accommodative capacity because the judiciary which is supposed to expedite cases keeps on adjourning cases thereby sending them to prison for safe keeping.
He said their role is not to punish prisoners or decide their fate but to keep them on the directive of the court, adding that cases like loitering and other minor crimes should not be sent to them.
He confirmed that their mandate is to accept all prisoners sent to them from court from the age of 20 and above but only resist juvenile prisoners.
He further said that the public has a naïve perception about the prisons because the place is a confinement for criminals and therefore restricted to the general public. He however maintained that prison is a place of reformation and recreation where inmates are given opportunity to acquire skills to live by after their prison terms.
By Solomon Rogers