Correction officers to carry guns

Liberia’s Justice Minister Cllr. Musa Dean says about 36 corrections officers are undergoing training to bear arms because of their vulnerability when carrying prisoners or keeping guards unarmed.

“We are undertaking training for about 36 of our corrections officers and they are to carry arms because when they are transporting prisoners or keeping guards at this time they are vulnerable because they do not carry arms,” Minister Dean announced at the just ended cabinet retreat in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County over the weekend.

He says the Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation (BRC) is one of the Ministry’s greatest challenges, citing an instance that the Monrovia Central Prison (MCP) that was built to house 300 inmates is now housing 1,260 inmates.

But according to the Attorney General, construction of the first block for 50 inmates in Grand Cape Mount County has been completed and those inmates have been transferred there.

At the MCP, renovation of Block “E” to hold about 100 inmates has also been completed, Minister Dean adds. According to him, the Justice Ministry is in the process of putting in place mechanism to reduce pretrial detention by at least 25 percent within the first 150 days.

By July 2018, he says prosecution will reduce the number of pretrial detainees without indictment to zero through coordination among the Prosecution Department, BCR, Sexual and Gender - Based Violence Division, the County Attorney’s Office and Magisterial Court.

Additionally, he says they are engaged in efforts to relocate the Ministry of Justice from its current building to a much better structure befitting the image of the ministry.

By Winston W. Parley-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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