UNODC's Programme in Southern Sudan


Several training programmes and activities focusing on prison reform have been conducted as part of Phase I and due to the close working relationship and support of the Southern Sudan Prison Service, a large number of training outputs have been achieved. To date these outputs include:

Training in Administration, Planning and International Standards

A one day prison management workshop for 40 senior managers on international standards of prison management and treatment of offenders. The workshop featured discussion on priority issues and challenges identified by participants during the initial sessions; the importance of leadership and accountability; discipline in prisons; and the importance of human rights in a prison environment.

Training in HIV/AIDS Prevention

A situation assessment on HIV/AIDS in prisons in Southern Sudan was conducted in consultation with senior prison managers. This initial assessment resulted in a greater emphasis on HIV/AIDS in prisons as part of the overall South Sudan HIV/AIDS Strategy. In addition, training focused on HIV-related issues and tuberculosis prevention, including addressing problems in Southern Sudan prisons.

Management Training on Prisoners with Special Needs

A four day workshop on the "Management of Vulnerable Groups in Prison" for 56 participants including Prison Service Directors, Officers in Charge of State Prisons, senior officers responsible for the management of juveniles, women, mentally ill and condemned prisoners for all States.

Establishment of the Procedure Development Working Group

A one-day workshop for Prison Service management to develop operating procedures to guide the reform process. As an output of the workshop a Procedure Development Working Group was established to be advised by UNMIS. This working group now meets regularly and is charged with the responsibility of drafting policies, standing orders and guidelines to support reforms.

Senior Management Training

A four day training for 36 selected senior officers from the Prison Service on management, knowledge, skills and attitudes in management to assist them in their roles as prison managers. Participants were introduced to general principles of management as applicable to prisons. The training was also designed to prepare younger officers for future leadership roles within the Prison Service in anticipation of the upcoming retirement of senior prison personnel.

Training of Trainers in the States

Three courses were conducted in the towns of Rumbek, Malakal and Wau for 51 prison staff to enable the Prison Service to undertake sustainable future training. The course objectives include building local capacity of the prison staff to conduct trainings and assist in overall development and reform of the Southern Sudan prison service.

Medical Specialist Training Focusing on HIV/AIDS

A two week medical specialist training programme was conducted for 26 selected medical personnel from the prison service which included both theoretical and practical aspects of medical treatment for prisoners. Components of the training focused on increased awareness in HIV/AIDS in the prisons, water and sanitation management in prisons, food and personal hygiene, communicable diseases prevention and control, first aid principles and practices; and management of vulnerable prisoners.

Information Management training

At present, the Service functions with almost no reliable information on the prison population or its own staff. A priority of the project is to enhance the ability of the Prison Service to collect, retain and use prison data to effectively manage the prison system. Accordingly, a three day course for collection officers on the accurate and reliable recording of prisoner information, including practical training on the procedures and prisoner registry forms was conducted.

Alternatives to Imprisonment Workshop with a focus on Vulnerable Groups

A three day workshop was conducted on community based alternatives and early release with a focus on developing alternatives for prisoners with special needs, namely women, children and mentally ill individuals to address the issue of overcrowding. The workshop involved participants from broad areas including the Prison Service, Police, Judiciary, Government Ministries, Traditional Chiefs, UNICEF and UNMIS. At the conclusion of the workshop a draft strategy for implementation of alternatives to imprisonment in Southern Sudan was achieved and presented to a representative of GoSS.

Strategic Planning and Management Workshop with a focus on Sustainable Prisons

A need was identified by the Prison Service for assistance in strategic planning and management; including specifically the development of sustainable prisons. It is realised that many of the human rights challenges that the prison service are currently faced with are linked to the lack of adequate prison facilities and related support systems. In response to this need, a four day programme aimed at developing the capacity of prison management in future strategic planning with a focus on establishing sustainable prisons including the effective operation of prison farms was carried out.

Training Workshop on Data Management, Planning and Decision Making Process

A critical component of improved management capacity is to ensure effective data management and planning processes in the prison service. Accordingly, this workshop was conducted to equip prison managers with the tools for effective use of prison data, decision making processes, strategic planning and development of work/action plans.

Human Resources and Leadership Development Training

Training was conducted involving an introduction to the importance of human resource management with detailed programmes on succession planning, development plans, roles and job descriptions and work planning.

Assessment of Situation of Mentally Ill Individuals Held in Prisons

During the 23 years of civil war the national health system in Southern Sudan has suffered greatly. As a resultant effect Southern Sudan is now faced with significant problems of a high population of mostly untreated mentally ill people, a problem that is particularly serious in prisons. In the case of imprisoned individuals suffering from mental illness, there is little no access to mental health practitioners, counseling or specific treatment in prisons. As a consequence, prisoners with physical illnesses may be misdiagnosed with mental illness. Also, convicted prisoners may become mentally ill as a result of their imprisonment, further increasing the relatively high population of mentally ill. In response to the increasing need to address this problem and in order to have a scientific basis for elaborating recommendations, a comprehensive and in depth assessment was carried out in the Juba Central Prison and Juba Women's Prison. A survey was administered to over 200 prisoners including both juveniles and women in Juba Central Prison and the Women's Prison. Arising from this initial assessment, prisoners were classified and those deemed 'severely mentally ill' underwent a clinical assessment by a consulting psychiatrist doctor from Kenya. The data is being analysed by consulting psychiatrists and a report with detailed recommendations will be made available to GoSS in the near future.

Assessment of Situation of Children and Juveniles in Prisons

Elaboration of specific policies and the implementation of practical measures to improve the situation of prisoners with special needs must be based on solid evidence. Accordingly, an assessment was conducted of children and juveniles incarcerated in prison in Southern Sudan. In completing this assessment a snapshot report was compiled relating to the situation of each juvenile incarcerated up to the date of assessment. In addition, information gleaned from interviews, prison visits, and the above-mentioned structured workshop opportunity with 31 management representatives of the SPSS, a desk review of available documentation was undertaken, as well as a review of available academic literature provided comprehensive evidence for the assessment. The assessment report concluded with a series of recommendations for meeting the needs of children and juveniles incarcerated in Southern Sudan.

Assessment of Situation of Women in Prisons

A similar survey to the assessment above was conducted in the women's prison in Juba to gather information on the background of the prisoners, their reasons for imprisonment and the conditions of imprisonment. Thirty-five women detainees were interviewed, many of whom are imprisoned with their children. The data is currently being analysed and will aid in understanding the issues facing women in prisons and assist in developing future training proposals addressing the specific needs of women detainees.


We the participants assure you that we shall go back to our stations with our acquired knowledge more prepared than ever for better healthcare delivery to our inmates in the prisons and to our staff.

SSPS Participant

Prison Service Staff in the Senior Management Training

We assure you that what we have received in this course, we are going to put into practice in our various destinations and also we shall pass this information to our colleagues. I also want to acknowledge the input of our three lieutenant colonels that were trained by the facilitators to help us learn. This is a good start so that when the facilitators go back to their various counties, we shall be able to continue the teaching of this training ourselves.

Beatrice Safari : SSPS Participant

Prison staff receiving new prison registry books of the information management training

Prison staff receiving new prison registry books at the information management training

Most prisons house many mentally ill individuals who have not committed a crime, but are detained as there is no other mental health facilities available. Also many families who do not understand the disease of mental illness bring their relatives to prison as they do not know what else to do with them

SSPS Director of Administration of Prisons

Prison staff participant at training in HIV/AIDS prevention

Prison staff participant at training in HIV/AIDS prevention

Information Management Training

Information Management Training

Learning at Lologo Training Camp

Learning at Lologo Training Camp