Uganda prisons Authority (UPS) says the tremendous rise in the number of inmates is worrying.
Frank Baine the UPS spokesperson says currently, they have 59,000 inmates yet their capacity is 20,000 inmates.
“That means almost where one prisoner is accommodated, now we are accommodating three” Baine said.
He points out increase in general population as one of the reasons the number of prisoners has also increased because people are fighting for resources.
Baine also blames limited budget for prisons. “We are operating at about 45% of our budget and therefore we are able to increase the accommodation capacity by 2% each year yet the prisoners are increasing by 10% per year. That’s why we are always affected by the congestion in prisons” Baine noted.
He added that also during the political and festive seasons, there is high level of crime. This he says, is because people are excited to celebrate Christmas or new year, those days normally attract a big number of crimes.
Baine noted also that it is during these days that security agencies intensify operations and they pick many criminals, leading to a high turn up of inmates.
“Like now, we have been involved so much in election period which causes excitement and we have seen numbers going high. But now that all these are gone, we expect the numbers to keep going down” Baine said.
According to the spokesperson, COVID-19 also affected them because the courts were not running normally and this is how they ended up having 65,000 inmates from 58,000 inmates before COVID. He however says the numbers have since dropped after Courts resumed sessions and they hope that soon they should be able to bring the numbers down.