WHAT WE DO
We ensure that the rule of law, human rights and equal access to justice is promoted, respected and fulfilled across prison members.
HOW WE DO IT
Human rights training: In-house training to prisoners and prison staff to become Prison Human Rights Advocates and Peer Educators. This means that they can then provide simple, accessible information about the court process to those in need.
Lobbying for timely processing of cases the police and court:
One of the drawbacks in Malawi’s justice system is institutional inability to fast track cases. This has resulted in congestion in the cells and prisons of Malawi. The majority of these are the poor and uneducated youth and children. This gives an impression that access to justice favours the rich and adults.
Training of Social Worker Volunteers:
The project trains Social Worker Volunteers who work as children social aids in police, courts and prisons. These Social Workers visit the selected courts and prisons daily to check the children cases records and monitor their situation including gathering statistics such as the number of children in prison, meet prisons/courts staff, individual meeting with the young offenders, collect map/phone contact, set date for home assessment. The Social Workers also conduct daily legal aid clinics to children offenders, assist them to complete standard bail forms or appeals forms if need be.
Systemic education: Imprisonment comes at the end of a long chain of decisions that involves legislators, policy makers, the police, prosecutors and courts. The justice system therefore has to be seen as a whole. That’s why we create opportunities for officials to visit prisons and see first-hand the transformation that is possible behind bars. We also provide platforms and forums for officials to discuss challenges that affect access to justice – supporting them in fostering a human rights culture across prison communities.