Working with Prison Inmates in Uganda

Our group has a developing relationship with a low-security prison in Lira, Uganda.

The inmates at the facility all have relately short sentences, less than 5 years. They wear bright yellow shorts and tops. So they’re easy to spot. The inmates are required to do physical labor outside the prison until about 1 pm and then they are returned to the compound for the afternoon and evening.

Ugandan Prisoners Are Easy to Spot in Their Colorful Yellow Uniforms

Ugandan Prisoners Are Easy to Spot in Their Colorful Yellow Uniforms

On my recent trip to Uganda, we borrowed 4 prisoners to help us with our playground installation activities at a nearby school for the deaf. The prisoners were all short-timers. Along with the prisoners, we got a guard. They helped with the assembly of a swing set, digging of holes, placing of concrete, and painting.

Our Crew Working on a Swing Set at the School for the Deaf in Lira, Uganda

Our Crew Work on a Swing Set at the School for the Deaf in Lira, Uganda

After we were through for the day, we headed to town and treated the prisoners and guard to a meal complete with milkshakes at a local restaurant.

The next day, the prisoners finished up the work at the school for the deaf. While I was in town buying supplies, 5 prisoners working in a nearby field decided to escape (not the ones working with us). One was soon found, but the other 4 were still missing when we left Lira. The circumstances surrounding the one prisoner’s capture were unnerving and our crew was seriously distracted for a short time. Despite the lock down imposed at the prison, our inmates were able to complete their work that day. After it was over we paid all 4 and the guard.

The next day, the prison was still in lock down, and we were unable to get additional prisoner assistance.

On a previous trip, we had purchased a TV and an LOS TV service for the prisoners. On this trip we renewed the TV service. The prison is scheduled to take over payments in 2017.

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This entry was posted in Africa, Playground, Social Justice, uganda and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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