Doreen responds to the unique needs of the women she works with
As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, people fighting for equal access to justice are called upon to choose to challenge inequalities and biases that women face, including those in incarceration.
Among the actors, are those in the prison services who are the custodians of the incarcerated. Doreen Asiimwe Kazoora is an employee of the Ugandan Prison Service. As the Senior Superintendent, she plays a crucial role in integrating, rehabilitating, and ensuring the wellbeing of female inmates at Luzira Women Prison.
“It’s fulfilling being a female prison officer; knowing that I come in handy to supervise the safety and securing of the female inmates. Also, I take part in their rehabilitation process,” Doreen explains.
Justice Defenders’ work, ensuring everyone has equal access to justice, is dependent on the commitment of officers like Doreen.
“As a female prison officer, I can understand the unique needs and challenges facing female inmates,” Doreen says. “It helps me support inmates effectively and this builds on their potential. I supervise them during rehabilitation activities and engagements. This ultimately helps inmates to be law-abiding citizens after their release.”
Though numerous inmates have gone through the reintegration process in prison, Doreen admits they are faced with some challenges. The number of inmates has surpassed the initial population capacity, resulting in congestion, and delayed court proceedings lead to delayed justice. However, she’s noticing the impact that programmes, like Justice Defenders’ legal education and training programme, are having.
“When inmates come in, they easily embrace all the programmes that Uganda Prison Service has on board for them,” Doreen explains. “Programmes like psycho-social support sessions, recreation activities, and farming are gladly welcomed by inmates and helps to transform them.”