Construction of women-only prisons a commendable move

Editor, Refer to the article, “Women-only correctional facilities to be built in all provinces” (The New Times, May 16).

Editor,

Refer to the article, “Women-only correctional facilities to be built in all provinces” (The New Times, May 16).

The move to get women their own correctional facilities is a very much plausible policy. In 2010, I was commissioned by the Prison Services to carry out a mini assessment of three prisons – as these facilities were known at the time.

This assessment was done in preparation of a Commonwealth conference which was due to take place in Rwanda. It was carried out in three establishments namely: ‘1930’ (Nyarugenge), Mpanga, and Kimironko.

Despite that the women issue was not raised in my findings, I was amazed to find out that women were housed in the same premises as men.

It was somewhat understandable because the country was emerging from the immediate aftermath of the Genocide against the Tutsi. Somehow, I could understand why the country could not afford to provide segregated facilities.

It is indeed plausible that the country has not only realised the

necessity of providing descent, exclusive correctional facilities for women, but has actually taken steps to make it happen. This is because, by nature, women have their own special needs that are different from those of men.

Indeed, a good idea and a step in the right direction.

Henry Settimba

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