Prison Project

Why prisoners?

Access to justice has been an on-going concern for vulnerable groups especially children and the youth in Malawi. Despite the elaborate international framework that exists for juvenile justice, the fact remains that there is a big gap between this and the real situation on the ground, even where an appropriate legal framework exists, it is not properly implemented. Too many children come into contact with the formal criminal justice system unnecessarily and, once within the system, they are badly treated. There is insufficient use of alternatives; community-based measures are not well known and not promoted.

Too often it is the poorest children and youth, uneducated and most vulnerable children and youth who find themselves in prison. They are crammed into facilities not built for the numbers, with some operating at 600% capacity.

Children who are homeless and poor, who have fled home as a result of violence or neglect, as well as, those that suffer from mental health illness and substance abuse find themselves at special risk.

What we do

We work alongside prisoners and staff at Bangula and Nsanje prisons who choose each day to use their lives, and the resources they have, to help and support others.

We have a responsibility to support and develop these change-makers, and to give them the platform they need to share, inspire and motivate others.

We work across four key areas in the prisons:

  1. Leadership
  2. Access to Health
  3. Access to Justice
  4. Counselling

 

An authorized volleyball match between the Nchalo Prison inmates and members of YCD.

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Inmates are often shunned by their people after being released from prison. But the YCD believes that these prisoners deserve every right to better their life and contribute to their community.

This project not only established a better relationship between the community and the prisoners but also a better understanding that will hopefully improve their reintegration process back into society.