Prison Visits; Judge ‘Reminds’ Colleagues

A High Court judge Tuesday reminded fellow judges and court magistrates of their mandate to periodically go to prisons, physically, to appreciate justice concerns of inmates.

Justice Dingiswayo Madise said this during commemoration of the International Human Rights Day at Mzuzu Prison.

Madise observed that the mandatory visits help judges and magistrates attend to outstanding cases for prisoners who have exceeded their custodial time limits.

Meanwhile, the Legal Aid Bureau in the northern region says it is heavily understaffed and underfunded to ably assist the population in the region.

Chief Legal Aid Advocate for the north Chimwemwe Chithope was reacting to accusations by some prisoners during the event that the bureau is not doing enough to assist inmates that have exceeded custody time limits.

During a similar invent at Maula Prison in Lilongwe, for example, 700 people have stayed on remand for close to three years.

Commissioner of Prisons, Clement Kainja, said the country’s prisons are currently holding 14,000 thousand prisoners against a capacity of 7,000 inmates and the conditions are deplorable.

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