A Rule of Law officer of the United Nations Mission in Liberia working in Margibi and Rural Montserrado Counties has alarmed over the over-crowdedness of two prison facilities in Margibi County.
Madam Chifarai Mercy Dude made the disclosure at souvenir program for the formal opening of the November Term of Court A.D. 2015 held at the 13th Judiciary Circuit Court in Margibi County on Monday November 9, 2015.
Madam Dude narrated that the Kakata Central prison has a holding capacity of 60 (sixty) inmates but it currently hosts 96 (ninety-six) inmates while the Boneway prison center in Lower Margibi has in its facility 24 (twenty-four) inmates with just sixteen holding capacity.
The UNMIL rule of law officer further noted that the delayed in handling cases will continue to cause the over crowdedness of prisons thus referencing the situation to the Kakata Central prison which has only 30 (thirty) convicted detainees while the rest of the other 66 (sixty-six) detainees continue to languish behind bars without trial.
Madam Dude said it is unfortunate for courts in the county to continue sending people to prisons when the issue of inadequate holding capacity remains a challenge. According to her, party litigants on many occasions go to the magisterial courts to have their cases heard but on many occasions the cases can be postponed either due to the absent of the Magistrate or the City Solicitor a situation she thinks is amongst the numerous problems hampering the justice system.
She stated that this is causing a very serious problem for the justice system of the county and at the same time called for an immediate action to stabilize the situation.
Madam Dude’s statement contravened earlier statement made by the presiding judge of the 13th judicial circuit court Mardea Tarr-Chenoweth and the county attorney Isaac L. George that there were serious reductions in the number of inmates in the two prison facilities.
By: Moses M. Tokpah