UNODC & Partners Support Uganda in Developing Tools for Preventing Violent Extremism in Prisons

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Kampala (Uganda), 5 February 2021 — The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) continues its work on preventing violent extremism in prisons, expanding its range of trainings to Uganda.

As part of this new project, held in collaboration with the United Nations Centre of Counter-Terrorism (UNCCT) and with the support of the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UNCTED), the Uganda Prison Service (UPS) has successfully completed a three-day workshop to review the draft Prisoner Classification Framework and related tools.

During the workshop, Commissioner Magomu emphasized that “the main objective for the development of the Prisoner Classification Framework, is to strengthen security and safety mechanisms and improve capacities of prison officers to prevent radicalization to violence in prisons”.

He added that UPS will stand to greatly benefit from the tools developed through the workshop, seeing how “classification entails a structured and individualized assessment of the risks and needs of each prisoner to assist in decision-making regarding the most appropriate placement and interventions”.

The Prisoner Classification Framework was developed through a rigorous process, which included a needs assessment. This was conducted in Luzira’s male and female prisons, then followed by a  number of expert consultations to fine tune the tools so that they may best adapt to the local reality.

UPS has shown a strong commitment to the task at hand, establishing a Technical Working Group (TWG) to oversee the development and the effective oversight of the process.

After an initial review of the Prisoner Classification Framework and related tools was conducted in 2020, UPS sprung into action by organizing the three-day workshop for the Technical Working Group to perform the final review of the document, develop a roadmap for implementation and holding a Training of Trainers session for the TWG.

Ultimately, the team aspired to take on a ‘trickle-down’ approach and train prison officials throughout the country in the effective use of the tools; as well as embarking on a digitalization process to ensure they are easily accessible to all stakeholders.

The workshop was facilitated by UNODC consultant Dr. Andrea Moser, who also facilitated the development of prisoner classification tools in close consultation with the UPS technical working group.

UPS officials expressed gratitude to the global joint EU-UN initiative on preventing the spread of violent extremism in prisons, for the constructive co-operation and expert advice provided in the development of the prisoner classification framework in Uganda. The project was co-funded by the European Union, the Netherlands and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT).

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