By Matalay Kollie, Bong County Correspondent
Gbarnga-Bong County: A crumbling sector without profound budgetary allocations remain the corrections and rehabilitation sector of the Justice System.
The fluctuation in its allocation from national budgets impedes functionaries and support to corrections and rehabilitation.
During a recent graduation exercise of fifty (50) correction officers, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor acknowledged the sector crumbling and further pledged to ensure incremental support in terms of budgetary requirements.
VP Taylor noted that when the budget is increased, it will enable the National Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation to work effectively and will help the Judiciary system in discharging its duties.
Currently, there is a rise and fall in funds given to the Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation budget by the Government of Liberia from 2.2 million United States Dollars to Four hundred ninety thousand United States Dollars and later increased to seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars, something she said is causing serious setback in the workings of the government agency responsible for corrections and rehabilitation of inmates.
“Due to the unstable and limited funds coming to the Correction Bureau, it serves as hindrances to the Bureau’s operation and progress and is also affecting the Judiciary system of Liberia”, she added.
The Liberian Vice President at the sametime assured members of the Nation Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilition of the Weah led government committment to providing support to every Ministries and Agencies, noting that the quest is intended for the overall improvement of the country and the livelihood of every Liberians.
Meanwhile, the Liberian Vice used the medium to caution all Corrections officers across the Country to respect the rights of inmates; noting that the responsibilities of prison officers are to make changes in the lives of prisoners and provide them protection during their jail term..
She furthered disclosed that when corrections officers are respectful and peaceful, it will have serious impact on the behavior of inmates as it would serve as guide and advice to prisoners and also motivate them in becoming law abiding citizens.
VP Taylor however expressed excitement in the Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Ministry of Justice for the level of support in making sure that justice is served to every Liberian and foreign national living in Liberia regardless of their color, tribe, political parties and religious beliefs.
She spoke at the graduation exercises of 50 graduates of the Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation in Gbarnga l, Bong County. During the occasion which was held on 24, February, Twenty-five (25) officers graduated from the ALPHA PLATOON Department while twenty-nine (29) graduated from the Department of BRAVO PLATOON from the Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation Class 14 Batch in the county.
The occasion was graced by heads of Law Enforcement Agencies, Prison facilities, representatives and directors, the US Embassy, and other local groups.
Turning over the graduates to the Director of Prisons and Rehabilitation at the Ministry of Justice, the chief trainer of the Gbarnga Regional Hub, Florida Bakannah-Ag disclosed that the graduates have gone through the ranks and files of the Bureau’s prescribed training guide before qualifying for graduation.
Madam Bakannah is of the strongest conviction that the graduates will serve the Bureau with commitment and passion for the overall improvement of the Justice system of Liberia; evidenced by their performances during training.
She then appreciated the management of the Gbarnga Regional Hub and the Ministry of Justice for the support during the training; adding that the Bureau remains Committed to providing all necessary support to the Ministry of Justice at all Corrections centers across the country.
Receiving the Graduates, the Assistant Minister of Corrections and Rehabilitation at the Ministry of Justice, Eddie Trawally cautioned the Graduates not to engage in political activities; thereby warning them from wearing political party shirts.
” You are Non-Political, you are not to engage yourself in any political activity, because the Liberians depend on you all for the empowerment of the Judicial system of Liberia.” Minister Trawally added.
Assistant Minister Trawally furthered that if the Corrections officers engage themselves in politics, it violates the prison standing order as a law enforcement agency of the Country.
He said all militaries, paramilitary, and other related security institutions subscribed to an oath to protect and defend the Nation and its citizens, as such, they are to serve the profession with love, commitment, and passion.