The Sierra Leone Correctional Service Act 2014 section (9) sub section (1) established the Sierra Leone Correctional Service Council. The council consists of eleven (11) members headed by the Honorable Vice President who is the Chairman. The Council has oversight over the Sierra Leone Correctional Service by providing strategic direction and shall advise the President on all major policy matters relating to Correctional centers and the Service including administration, finance and any other matter as the President shall require.
SLCS has contracted Life-by-Design to develop a program for the training of social workers and counsellors on how to carry out rehabilitation programs with inmates. These inmates will further go through a skills training program that will enhance their employability and make easy the process of reintegrating them into communities. In addition, Life-by-Design will work with SLCS to develop business models including business plans for industries within the correctional centers and set the foundation for self-reliance through income generated from commercial activities. It is hoped that the long term outlook of this initiative will factor the possibility for inmates to earn money while serving time and take care of family within a very restricted set of governing rules.
In its drive to capacitate and rehabilitate inmates, the SLCS is encouraging all inmates to be involve in skills development in the areas of carpentry, tailoring, welding, arts & craft, agriculture etc. The reason behind this is to engage and prepare inmates for a life when and after they have been released back to society.
The intention for creating this is to help the inmate empower themselves and give them the confidence to take the
Carpentry – as part of its drive to rehabilitate inmates, the SLCS has made it mandatory for inmates to acquire skills whilst they serve their time in the facilities. Carpentry training is one of the valuable skills handed down to inmates. Over the years, there has been marked improvement in the area of skills development. Inmates can now boast of making beds, chairs, tables etc. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the furniture are given to the inmates.
Tailoring – the SLCS can boast of a small tailoring unit which has up to 50 sewing machines. Even though they are constraint in getting more machines for the unit, yet they have succeeded in providing uniforms for inmates and wardens alike. Today, if you visit the correctional service center or its showroom, you will see a lot of products on display.
Agriculture – Mafanta is the biggest correctional service in Sierra Leone, inmates are encouraged to be involve in the growing of crops and the rearing of animals. The facility is blessed with a lot of open space which has been utilized for that purpose. Harvest from the farm can be used for food or sold if need be.
My name is Sahr Fanday, I was imprisoned for ten years at the Sierra Leone Correctional Service. I had to learn some skills while being imprisoned and one of which was tailoring. I concentrated on the job that was taught with a specific mindset that being in jail “is not the end of my life”.
As a beneficiary of the corrections, I have decided to open a shop with the tailoring machine that was given to me to restart my life.