National, News

Prison services grumble of inadequate budget

By Mamer Abraham


Director General of South Sudan’s National Prisons Service complains of inadequate budget allocated to the department.

Henry Kuany Aguar said the prisons department gets an annually budget of 18,837,424,596 SSP, yet its expenditure is over 17,100,001 SSP.

According to the Director General, the sector suffers deficit of 1,737,423,596 SSP for other services like wages and other per Anum.

The Director was presenting the shortfalls of the department to the minister of interior, Angelina Teny.

“Honorable minister, see the magnitude of the budgetary constraints on the prison service. And how do you expect the national prisons service of South Sudan to cater for the welfare of its staff in terms of working conditions,” Kuany asked.

The Minister of Interior, Angelina Teny, on Monday, visited the prison services, where the director urged her to raise the issues to the cabinet for consideration.

“The two most important groups of people in a prison are prisoners and the staff who look after them. For this reason, honorable minister, the budget for the prison service should take into account the two groups; the prisoners and the staff, nothing else,” he echoed.

The prison director decried that while other law enforcement agencies, like the judiciary and police, receive a significant portion of development partner funds, yet they only hold detainees for a short time, while in prison, those in custody remain for a long time until their cases are decided.

“This is highly regretted that other components of the rule of law that as the police, judiciary take a lion’s share of the support provided by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan and other international partners whereas prisons are always ignored and their importance downplayed,” he continued.

However, Gen. Kuany praised the National Prisons Service of South Sudan for successfully performing its custodial role of keeping inmates safe and contributing to their development.

He said despite facing massive challenges, the service has successfully trained prison officers in line with the revitalized agreement on conflict resolution in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

For her part, Interior Minister Angelina Teny expressed gratitude to the National Prisons Service for their warm welcome and pledged to collaborate with them.

She assured that if there were issues with prison services, she would forward the matter to the president.

“This institution, not only the correctional services but as well as the other agencies of the Ministry of Interior. Not only do I want to acknowledge but I also want to extend our gratitude and thank them starting from UNDP, and ICRC. If I miss you out, you are also acknowledged,” Angelina said.

She promised to pay inspection visits to the National Prisons Service not only within Juba but also in the states to oversee correctional services.

Last month, civil rights activists in a joint statement called for the national budget of 2023-2024 to be reviewed because it neglected the resources envelopes.

The activists argued that the private sector was subject to little funding as opposed to what is contained in the revitalized agreement on the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

“Since 2005, the budget has been an exercise of a cash call with an unacceptable level of budgeting with an intended deficit. South Sudan’s future budget should be bottom-up by moving away from such an elusive shopping list addressing entitlements and privileges among government officials” the report partly read.

The activists further called for the Budget Control Office of the Ministry of Finance and Planning to be changed into an independent budget control planning commission.

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