Uganda Prisons Decries Over-Congestion, Attributes It to Delayed Justice

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The Uganda Prisons Service (UPS) has expressed concern over the high level of congestion in prisons, with a total number of inmates now reported at 77,592.

The spokesperson for Uganda Prison Services, Frank Baine, made these remarks during an interview on a local radio station, where he attributed the increment to delayed justice for remanded suspects, mainly minors, and those suspected to have committed capital offences, among several others.

“Prisoners overstay on remand, and so for the minor offences, which are supposed to last two months on remand, spend 2.9 months,” Baine stated.

He further highlighted that, for capital offenders, remand time was reduced from two years to one and a half years, which he says is good progress.

He emphasised that, on average, in 2023, the average daily attendance at court showed that 1602 prisoners were going to court every day.

According to Baine, UPS is mandated to provide safe, secure, and humane custody of offenders, stating that it places human rights at the centre of their correctional programmes.

Elly Muhumuza, Uganda Prisons Commissioner for Planning and Development, informed Parliament on December 8, 2023, at a meeting with the Parliamentary Internal Affairs Committee, about the new building proposal of 16 mini-max prisons, with each costing around Shs102.9 billion.

This, according to Muhumuza, is an effort to reduce the overcrowding of the available facilities.

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