“Jail break alert” as Liberian jails run out of food

5 months ago 395

There are fears of a possible jailbreak in some prison facilities in Liberia as inmates keep starving due to the shortage of food. Sources within the Monrovia Central Prison for instance say the facility went short of food since December 8.

According to prison officials, the situation has caused two prisons, including the main Monrovia Central Prison; to shut temporarily shut their doors to newcomers.

"Today, there is completely no food at the facility. Up to now, it is 2pm, there is no food," a source within one of the facilities said.

A prison warder said prisons had shut the doors to avoid putting more people at risk due to the shortage of food. He said there was also a possibility that angry inmates could stage jailbreaks.

A lot of factors have been associated with this situation with the government's delays in raising funds for the prison facilities being the topmost cause.

Speaking to local media on Tuesday, The Superintendent of the Monrovia Central Prison, Varney G. Lake, was alarmed at the level of bureaucracy in the acquisition of portions and others from the Ministry of Justice for the proper management of the facility.

“Absolutely, there is no food; the Bureau of Correction food depends on the budgetary allotment provided by the Ministry of Justice. Whatsoever we do, we must apply to central administration for everything and we know the bureaucracy in getting these things”.

However, the director of prisons, Sainleseh Kwaidah, on Monday said that the government was doing everything to resolve the situation.

INTERVENTION

As the government prepares to intervene, a businessperson, Upjit Singh Sachdeva has stepped in to provide food to mitigate the crisis.

Prison warders have in recent days criticised the government’s handling of the affairs of the crowded correctional facilities.

Currently, the Monrovia Central Prison has over 1,300 inmates; meanwhile, it was constructed to accommodate between 350 and 370 inmates.

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