TRANSFER of ordered juveniles to appropriate facilities for reformation has been a challenge resulting in many already ordered and confirmed juveniles remaining in correctional facilities without juvenile rehabilitation programs for longer periods before being taken to appropriate institutions with such programs.
This situation has exposed these children to high risks of contracting diseases such as HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis (TB) as in most cases especially where they are detained together with adult inmates.
To assist the Zambian government ameliorate this challenge, the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) with support from the Elton John AIDS Foundation collaborated with the Zambia Correctional Services and the department of Social Welfare under the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services to transfer 39 juveniles to Katombora Reformatory and Nakambala Approved Schools in Kazungula and Mazabuka respectively. Four juveniles, two from Mazabuka and two from Choma were also transferred to Livingstone Central correctional facility for confirmation.
In a letter of thanks to CIDRZ, Zambia Correctional Service Commissioner General through the Deputy Commissioner-Director Rehabilitation, Richard Mwalwembe said, “I write to appreciate and commend your organization for the help rendered to Zambia Correctional Service for the travelling logistics you provided that enabled us move ordered Juveniles from Ndola Remand, Kabwe medium, Kamwala Remand, Mazabuka and Choma correctional facilities to Nakambala Approved School and Katombora Reformatory School respectively. The movement of the Lads to the above institutions will help in quickening their rehabilitation and successful reintegration into the community as useful and law-abiding citizens”.
He added, “I further wish to mention that the logistics you provided also helped us move 14 adult inmates who were due for discharge from Lusaka to various correctional facilities in Southern Province. On our way back, 20 inmates were moved from Livingstone Correctional Facility to other facilities in Southern and Lusaka Regions.
The Elton John Juvenile Offenders’ Health (EJJOH) being implemented by CIDRZ is aimed at building the capacity of the Zambia Correctional Service to provide holistic and integrated health services to Juveile in conflict with the law .
This 30months project is being implemented at the following facilities; Livingstone Central, Lusaka Central, Kamwala Remand, Mukobeko Medium, Peter Singogo, Chingola, Kamfinsa, Milima, Namseche and Mongu Central correctional facilities as well as Katombora Reformatory School and Nakambala and Insakwe Approved Schools.