The Abubakary Jawara Foundation has offered to install 72 CCTV cameras in the State Central Prison amid reports of security concerns.
The foundation has already donated 50 mattresses and 25 giant fans worth over D207, 000 to the Mile II following a moving media report on the National Assembly Human Rights Select Committee visit at Mile II. Lack of proper ventilation was among issues highlighted in the report.
The Gambia Prisons Service Director General, Ansumana Manneh said the installation of CCTV cameras at Mile II will mark another turning point in prisons administration as the expectation is that it will help significantly in consigning prisoner escapes to history.
According to the prisons DG, wardens and officers “have all along been using their minds”.
“The world is moving and we need to move. We are dealing with criminals, who are faster than us,” he added.
DG Manneh added that the CCTV cameras came at a time when prisoner escapes made headlines.
He said that the State Central Prison was built without rehabilitation in mind.
“The prison was built by colonial masters and it was not for rehabilitation but punishment. I want to extend an invitation to Abubakary Jawara to visit the State Central Prison to see how he can help the penitentiary,” DG Manneh added.
The Chairman of the National Assembly Select Committee on Human Rights, Honourable Madi Ceesay, said: “We are very happy about the rapid response. The horrible conditions of the prisons should be addressed. We call on others to emulate.” The CEO of Abubakary Jawara Foundation, Yusupha Jawara, said rebranding of the prisons should be everyone’s business.
“We hope the items would enhance the living conditions of the prisoners and wardens. We were told that some of them(inmates) live in horrible conditions,” CEO Jawara stated.
CEO Jawara said his brother is a generous man, who has been investing his wealth in noble causes since the 90s.
“We inherit it (generosity) from our grandfather and father. Humanity comes first. Prison is not a place for punishment by rehabilitation. We hope this equipment will enhance the living conditions of the prisoners and prisons warden,” he said.
This gift, and the many other humanitarian programs offered by the Abubakary Jawara Foundation over the years, he added, is just one component of the strong and continued cooperation between the foundation and the Gambian people especially during emergency situations.
Honourable Suwaibou Touray of Wuli East thanked the Abubakary Jawara Foundation for the “generosity”.
He said the committee felt grateful by the gesture as well as the opportunity provided by the prisons authorities to visit the prisons.