Legal Literacy in Kachare Boys Reformatory Centre

Kachere Boys Reformatory Centre was originally built in the 1960s as a remand centre.  While over the past two years significant strides have been made in improving conditions at Kachere, sleeping and sanitary conditions remain sub-standard. Kachere was originally built with a capacity for 70 persons.  While writing this post today I am saddened to […]

Access to Criminal Justice Malawi – A Time to Reflect on the Highs and Lows of Year One

The ‘Access to Criminal Justice – Malawi Project’ commenced in July 2011 with the placement of three lawyers by IRLI within the Department of Legal Aid and the Department of Public Prosecutions.  IRLI is most grateful for the continued assistance of Irish Aid which has enabled this project to continue this year and to all […]

PASI and IRLI

PASI are the Paralegal Advisory Service. PASI was created originally in response to life-threatening conditions in Malawi’s prisons as a project of the non-profit Penal Reform International. At the time, the prisons were overcrowded, with high death rates due to starvation, the spread of disease, and police brutality and torture. Prisons lacked meaningful rehabilitative programs, […]

Kachere Prison Visit

I recently visited Kachere Juvenile Prison for young male offenders. Kachere is a small prison located in Lilongwe City Centre and serves the central region of Malawi. The prison was built in the 1930s. Today Kachere holds approximately 130 prisoners. The prison is incredibly small and visibly overcrowded. A recent report by the Open Society […]

Camp Courts, Malawi

This week the project lawyers attended a Camp Court in prison.   These prison courts only handle matters involving minor offenders.  The courts are supposed to act as a useful way to reduce overcrowding, speed up justice delivery, and restore the ‘hope’ factor in the life of prisoners. As a background to the camp courts, the prisons […]

Pre-Trial Detention and Legal Aid in Malawi

Later this week I will be leaving these fair shores to spend a year in Malawi working on an access to justice and prison reform project with Irish Rule of Law International, a non-profit rule of law charity established by the Law Society and Bar Council. Myself and my two colleagues, barrister Ruth Dowling and […]