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Crime & PunishmentGeneralLiberia news

Harper prison superintendent appeals for support

By Patrick N. Mensah, Maryland County

The superintendent of Maryland County Prison Theodore T. Harmon seeks financial support through the Ministry of Justice and international NGOs to smoothly operate the prison facility in the county.

The prison and the home of Speaker Bhofal Chamber’s in Harper City suffered vandalization and arson attack from angry protesters in 2021, demanding speedy trial of 18-year-old murder suspect Moses Mlamah for the death of the late motorcyclist Modicious Nyemah on March 25, 2021.

The Harper Prison is the only correction center in Maryland County.

Speaking to reporters over the weekend, Superintendent Harmon disclosed that since the facility was reconditioned and turned over by former Maryland County Senator H. Dan Morias, it has been operating on later funds generated during the opening ceremony.

 He disclosed that during the turning-over ceremony, a total of 17,000 Liberian Dollars and US$100 were generated in a mini rally.

The money was used to purchase materials that are currently being used since the reopening ceremony, but the facility lacks computers, stationeries, and cooking utensils, among others.

He stressed that the prison facility has been the only means of keeping inmates from Grand Kru, Sinoe, and River Gee counties, respectively.

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Mr. Harmon called on national government through the Ministry of Justice to help ease the financial pressure facing the prison

Prior to reconditioning the facility, the magistrate of the Pleebo Magisterial Court in Pleebo, Sodokan district, Maryland County had alarmed that the lack of prison in the southeast poses serious threat to community dwellers.

Magistrate Mah pointed out that pretrial detainees were either held at Fish Town Correctional Palace in River Gee or Zwedru Correctional Palace in Grand Gedeh County due to the poor state of the prison in Pleebo.

He said though the roads are paved, a drive from Harper, Maryland to Fish Town, River Gee takes several hours and extending to Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County on a totally rough road takes nearly five hours.

According to him, transportation fare per person is LRD3,000 on a commercial motorbike and is between LRD1,500 and LRD1,800 on a public transport vehicle, which he noted is paralyzing the justice system and the rule of law.

Magistrate Mah described the situation as something challenging hence, he seeks urgent intervention from government and partners.

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