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15 November 2010: DPKO prison work gaining greater recognition

[Dateline: Nairobi | Author: DPKO-DFS]

The Kenyan Commissioner of Prisons, Isaiah Osugo, opened the third DPKO Prison Affairs Officer pre-deployment training course at the Humanitarian Peace Support School in Nairobi, Kenya on 9 November. The closing ceremony is to be attended by the Permanent Secretary of State for the Ministry of Home Affairs (representing Mr. Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, Vice President and Minister for Home Affairs), Brigadier General Kabochi from IPSTC and Lars Nylén, the Director General of Swedish Prison and Probation Service. 

In total, 25 corrections officers are attending the training: fourteen from Kenya, three from Sweden and two each from Ghana, Zambia, Uganda and Namibia. Of the 25 participants, six are women.

DPKO corrections work is undertaken by the Criminal Law and Judicial Advisory Service (CLJAS), which works on both justice and corrections systems from within the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions. One of the stated aims of this Service is to raise awareness about the importance of corrections work. Such high-level participation at a pre-deployment training demonstrates the success that DPKO has had with this aim.

For this two-week course, the Kenya Prison Service is participating and providing trainers and other logistical support. This pre-deployment course benefited from and was developed in the same fashion as the United Nations Police pre-deployment training, a synergetic relationship between two Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions components who work closely together addressing rule of law issues in post-conflict environments.

This course is being hosted by the Kenyan Government and jointly organised by DPKO and the Swedish Government with added assistance from the Canadian Government. This, the third and last pilot, is the first to be conducted in Africa. At the completion of this course the curriculum will be revised and the responsibility for corrections predeployment training will revert to the Corrections Contributing Countries (CCC). 

To ensure that the course was a regional effort, the Swedish government assisted participants from other Corrections Contributing Countries to attend and provide feedback to their authorities and colleagues. 

Prior to the commencement of the course a Training of Trainers was conducted for the Kenya trainers who are assisting in the teaching of this course.

As Alain Le Roy, the Under-Secretary-General for the Department of Peacekeeping Operations stated in his introduction to the Corrections Update Volume 2 (October 2010) , the Department is committed to ensuring "that the issue of prisons is prioritized, including through the rapid deployment of corrections experts.”

At present, 21 Member States contribute corrections personnel to peacekeeping with Burkina Faso, Canada, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sweden and the United States seconding five or more officers, and with Burkina Faso, Ghana and Senegal providing more than 20 each.

A formal meeting with Corrections Contributing Countries, when the training will be formally handed-over, is planned for early 2011.