Hope Beyond the Walls - A Success Story of Rehabilitation in Baidoa Prison in Somalia
Baidoa -- The Baidoa prison was built by the Italian government during the colonial era in the South West State of Somalia. The Ministry of Justice considers it to be one of the country’s most secure prisons because it has no history of escapes and deems it suitable for accommodating high-risk prisoners. Most of the high-risk prisoners are sentenced for taking part in extremist activities perpetrated by Al-Shabaab.
The Psychosocial Rehabilitation Programme for High-Risk Prisoners has been implemented at the Baidoa prison since 2016. The programme, now in its third phase, aims to counter violent extremist ideologies and ensure that inmates are completely disengaged from Al-Shabaab, and also develops the living conditions to improve the well-being of inmates and staff.
The rehabilitation programme is led by the UNSOM Joint Justice and Corrections Service. The programme has been funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and implemented by Finn Church Aid (FCA), in partnership with the Centre for Research and Dialogue (CRD).
The programme equips prisoners with the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to contribute positively to their communities and society in general upon their release. Following screening by the Somali prison authority in conjunction with the National Intelligence Service Agency, inmates enrolled in the rehabilitation programme are provided vocational training, education and psychosocial support.
The Custodial Corps staff who administer the prison are few in number but are highly trained. The programme builds their capacity to support the rehabilitation of prisoners while also ensuring the security of the prison.
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