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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Director General of Sierra Leone Correctional Service Reveals Findings On Prison Riot

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BRIEFINGS FROM THE SIERRA LEONE CORRECTIONAL SERVICE ON THE INCIDENCE OF 29TH APRIL, 2020
_____________________________________

CAUSES

▫️overcrowding

▫️Pademba road Correctional Centre houses all categories of inmates (especially high risk)

▫️On that day, there were 1, 300 inmates (400% overcrowding), in a centre built to hold 324 inmates

▫️Staff shortage (40% under strength)

▫️Covid- 19’s outbreak prevented recruitment, which was in the pipeline

▫️Index covid- 19 case led to drastic measures instituted that restricted movement within the facility

▫️Suspension of court sittings

▫️Closure of the tuck shop (retail outlet within)

RIOT

▫️Started around 7:30 am and ended around 11am

▫️Inmates damaged workshop doors and set stores and some other buildings on fire

▫️held some officers hostage, and pelted stones at officers

▫️rivalry inmate groups within the centre clashed and wreaked havoc on themselves

▫️OSD personnel initially fired teargas into the centre to restore calm, but failed

▫️armed personnel forced their way in and used reasonable force to restore calm

DAMAGE ASSESSMENT

▫️stores, catering, reception, hospital, and workshop (Le 20 billion)

▫️inmates refused to yield to orders and return to their cells

AFTERMATH

▫️31 fatalities, including 1 Corrections Officer

▫️12 inmates died from gunshot wounds

▫️16 inmates died from blunt force

▫️2 inmates died of illnesses

▫️21 inmates sustained injuries

▫️32 Corrections Officers sustained injuries

▫️6 of the corpses have been identified and given befitting burials by their families

▫️24 are still in the morgue, unidentified

MOVING FORWARD

▫️The setting- up of a riot command post

▫️Psychosocial support to affected persons

▫️Multi- sectorial engagement to ensure better reforms in the SLCS

©️Outreach Unit, SLCS

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