A moment of comfort greeted the 101 inmates at the Buchanan Central Prison in upper Buchanan after the Bassa Bar Association presented 13 out of 20 mattresses to facility claims it needs.
The presentation was made during the opening of the February Term of Court as part of efforts by the Legal Aid Clinic to ensure that human rights are upheld at the prison inspite of crime allegedly committed by pre-trial detainees or defendants.
Availing the mattresses in open Court, the President of the Grand Bassa Bar Association, Cllr. Joyce Reeves Woods narrated that the over-crowdedness of the Prison has caused inmates to have restless nights; thus contributing to poor health and potential human rights violation.
Cllr. Woods, who decided not to attach cost to the gifts, informed Judge Joe S. Barkon, Resident Judge of the 2nd Judicial Circuit Court, that the remaining seven pieces of mattress will be given subsequently; as she praised the Judge for his collaboration in reducing the huge number of inmates in past Terms.
Woods, however, pleaded with Judge Barkon to remain steadfast and robust in tackling the prevailing over-crowdedness of the prison that serves Grand Bassa five districts and neighboring counties on related cases.
At the same time, the Senior Legal Council and Head of Prosecution Unit at the Ministry of Justice, Cllr. Samuel Jacobs joined Superintendent Tom Karmalah of the Buchanan Central Prison in taking delivery of the donation; a moment at which Cllr. Jacobs expressed delight and vowed continuous harmonious working relationship with the Bar Association.
The Legal Aid Clinic grew out of the Bassa Bar Association strategic plans in consultation with the Liberia National Bar Association in 2017 for the legal representation of citizens who are unable to hire lawyer during trial and adjudication of cases.