Kachere Christmas Party

Last Thursday we were kindly invited by an Scottish organisation called Venture Trust to the Kachare Juvenile facilities’ Christmas party. The Venture Trust project helps the young men in the facility to change their behaviours, through time, space and intensive support in carefully designed programmes, which gives them the confidence, motivation and life skills they […]

World Pre-trial/Remand Imprisonment List

Roy Walmsley has a wealth of experience in the area of penal reform and in compiling prison statistics. He is an honorary consultant to the United Nations and an Associate of the International Centre for Prison Studies (ICPS), King’s College, London. He first introduced introduced the World Prison Population List in 1999 (currently on its […]

Juvenile (In)Justice

Currently in Malawi the law states, under the 1969 Children and Young Persons Act, that those under the age of 18 should not be sent to adult prisons. However, for a long time courts and police have been sending children to prison as an easy option. Some children have been detained over long periods, in […]

Women in Prison

In the last week I have made my first visit to the Maula prison women’s section. The vast majority of detainees within the Malawian prison system are men between the ages of 20-29 and so there is not a particularly high demand for our services from the women’s section. For example on our last count […]

UN Human Rights Committee to examine Malawi today

The United Nations Human Rights Committee will meet for its 103rd session today. The Human Rights Committee is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by its State parties. All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights […]

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 […]