During the official close of the November 2018 Criminal Session at the High Court of Sierra Leone, on Friday 18th January 2019, Superintendent Jonathan Wilson of the Correctional Service noted that there are presently 45 condemned inmates on death row at the Correctional Centre in Freetown.
He added that out of those 45 condemned inmates who are awaiting the gallows, two of them are women.
Wilson said they have 735 inmates that are currently serving long-term sentences, while 274 of the inmates are serving short-term sentences.
He described short-term sentences to be below five years. He also established before the Chief Justice that there are 473 trial inmates with indictments and 210 inmates without indictment, whose matters have been committed from the Magistrate Court to the High Court, but yet to be served with an indictment. Superintendent Wilson said that they have 12 foreign nationals presently in their supervision at the Correctional Centre.
He added, they are mostly from African countries. He noted there are 19 inmates that have been sentenced to life imprisonment; three are women inmates.
The Pademba Road Prison was built for 324 inmates, but, according to the Superintendent, they now house more than 2,000. He said they have 2,192 inmates at the moment, of which 74 are women. The female facility was meant to accommodate only 18 prisoners. Wilson said they provide vocational trainings such has tailoring, carpentry and the like for inmates that have been sentenced to long term imprisonment.
“We also have recreational facilities for them and they are fed three times a day.”
According to the Chief Justice, Desmond B. Edwards, “I must commend the Correctional Service in the area of file management.”
He said the Correctional Service is moving but their pace is very slow. He called on the authorities concerned to follow the Mandela Rule with regards to providing better facilities for inmates.
“These inmates should not be treated badly and they should not be tortured.” The 2019 session will open on the 28 January 2019.