Great post from UNITE Assistant Facilitator Vweta Ariemugbovbe on her experience in a gender studies de-construction session at UNITE Lagos. She is a World Pulse Voices for Change Fellow – and fresh voice in women’s empowerment from the Continent!
“Declining crime rates in the Netherlands mean that although the country has the capacity for 14,000 prisoners, there are only 12,000 detainees, reported the nrc.nl.“
“A report last year on prison overcrowding said that surging populations undermined the rehabilitation of prisoners and risked increasing reoffending in the future.”
The Huffinton Post UK Reports:
Netherlands Close Eight Prisons Due To Lack Of Criminals
Huffington Post UK | Posted: 26/06/2013 17:44 BST | Updated: 16/09/2013 01:42 BST
As prison populations surge in the UK, with overcrowded cells and repeat offenders, the opposite is happening in the Netherlands.
The country is actually to close eight prisons because of a lack of criminals, the Dutch justice ministry has announced.
Declining crime rates in the Netherlands mean that although the country has the capacity for 14,000 prisoners, there are only 12,000 detainees, reported the nrc.nl.
The decrease is expected to continue, the ministry said, with Deputy justice minister Nebahat Albayrak saying that natural redundancy and other measures should counter any forced lay-offs.
A report last year on prison overcrowding said that surging populations undermined the rehabilitation of prisoners and risked increasing reoffending in the future.
The Criminal Justice Alliance (CJA), which represents more than 60 organisations, called for the government to urgently limit “the unnecessary use of prison, ensuring it is reserved for serious, persistent and violent offenders for whom no alternative sanction is appropriate”.
It came after Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick said the rising pressure on prisons from budget cuts and increasing numbers cannot go on indefinitely.
See the article here.
A gardening program on the largest penal colony in the world.
On an island in the East River not far from LaGuardia, down a dirt trail leading to a shed, past a table strewn with plant cuttings, a doorway opens out onto a glass greenhouse. In the gentle humidity of teeming plant life, long tables are topped with tray after black-plastic tray of thriving seedlings—tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower, string beans, thyme, basil, rosemary—and their self-declared caregiver, Wayne.
Three Lagos communities strong!
For decades, drug crimes contributed to an explosion in the size of the federal prison system, far outpacing any other charges brought by prosecutors.
Now, just as the federal government has pulled back the throttle on the drug war, it is embarking on an unprecedented campaign to criminally prosecute undocumented immigrants crossing the border. The result: A new wave of non-violent offenders are flooding the nation’s prisons.
Read the full article
Check out this 3 minute movie chronicling some of the activities of UNITE Lagos.
All video footage shot February – May 2013.
Video: Awwal Ajaari and Erica Licht
Edit/Production: Erica Licht
Music: Vivre by Zap Mama
Last week I attended, and presented, at the American Correctional Association bi-annual conference. You can view my presentation, apart of the panel entitled, “Sustainability Initiatives and Offender Programming,” below. My presentation focused on my Fulbright research including my implementation of the U.N.I.T.E. Youth Justice and Environment program in Nigeria, and its implications for initiatives uniting youth, police and nature in the United States.
I contend that there is great potential for U.N.I.T.E.-like programs inside the correction system, as well as in community-based and re-entry programming. Such efforts could correlate with existing projects of the ACA Clean and Green Committee, GreenPrisons.org, Sustainability in Prisons Project, Departments of Correction in Ohio and Washington State, and the Roots of Success Curriculum – all great initiatives that I learned about in more depth from the conference!