Demands intensify for prison reform in Liberia following a protest by over 200 prisoners.

Jails in Liberia are frequently overcrowded and lack basic medical facilities,
as evidenced by the recent protest by more than 200 inmates in Nimba county.
Efforts to reform the notorious prison system have intensified amid complaints about

inadequate food, medication, and sanitary supplies. Last year, food shortages led to
a prison running out of food, and other prisons stopped taking inmates temporarily.
The national director of prisons cited budget constraints and inadequate infrastructure as factors contributing to the problem. Only six out of 16 prisons have clinical facilities, resulting in a rotation of medical staff and limited services in the remaining 10. The government funding for prisons has consistently decreased, adding to the challenges faced in the system. Overcrowding is a serious issue, with the largest prison in the country holding more than three times its intended capacity. Pre-trial detainees account for a significant percentage of the prison population. To address food shortages, prisons rely on donations from private organizations. The Liberian Bar Association is implementing legal aid clinics to assist pre-trial detainees, and there is a call for alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and capacity building for probation officers. While the government has promised to build a new prison, construction has not yet begun. However, efforts towards reform, outlined in a strategic plan lasting until 2027, offer hope for improvement.

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