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As 200 acres land secured at Songo… Pademba Road Prisons Relocation now a reality

TUESDAY APRIL 9, 2013The overcrowded Central Prisons commonly known as Pademba Road Prisons is to be relocated to Songo.
This was revealed yesterday by the Minister of Internal Affairs J.B. Dauda when he received a representative of the Isreali company ,MAGAL Security, that is interested in building the new prison.
The Internal Affairs Minister welcomed Arie Ben Shabat Vice President Sales of the company and explained that the prisons was built over 50 years ago to keep 340 prisoners but is now grossly overpopulated because as the country’s population grew so too did the number of offenders and now the prisons has over 1400 inmates.
Prison officials say this is about 400% of the number it was built to take.
He revealed that under the circumstances you cannot say they are being treated humanely, so there is an urgent need to build a new prison.
The Internal Affairs Minister also spoke of the inconveniences experienced by people whenever there is a need to close the road because of the prisons.
“That is why we have invited the Isreali company to come and look at it and see what can be done. He will also look at the site at Songo and then we will discuss,” the Minister said.
He also recalled that Parliament Building was built by Isrealis.
The Isreali company representative, Arie Ben Shabat said that his company had built a lot of prisons Worldwide and so if they are going to build a prison here, it has to be of international standard and will be tailor-made for Sierra Leone and will create better conditions for prisoners. Deputy Internal Affairs Minister, Sheka Tarawallie said that the Minister and Government wants to leave a legacy by relocating the prisons and that very soon it will be transformed to the Sierra Leone Correctional Services.
The visiting Isreali company official was then taken on a conducted tour of the Pademba Road prisons where he saw the overcrowded prisons and its stretched facilities.
From Pademba road, he was driven to Songo accompanied by the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Sheka Tarawallie, Director of Prisons Bilo Kamara, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Prison officials and the media.
Answering questions , Sheka Tarawallie explained at the site that the Prison will be built after negotiations with the Israeli company on a BOT basis. He said that the Songo colony community had given the 200 acre land which could be more depending on the needs of the prisons.
Director of Prisons Bilo Kamara said that the prisons will be only for convicted prisoners as those on remand have to be attending court in Freetown regularly.
The Deputy Minister Sheka Tarawallie also said that the prisons will be located four miles to Mamamah, where the new airport is to be located.

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