Project Factsheet
Tools for » PBF/LBR/D-7 Rapid Rule of Law Assistance to Reduce Overcrowding in Monrovia Central Prison
Project ID:00072005Description:PBF/LBR/D-7 Monrovia Prison
Peacebuilding Fund
Start Date *: 12 Aug 2009
Youth Empower/Employ-W2
End Date*: 15 May 2010
Country: Liberia Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   UNHCR - UN High Commissioner for Refug

Project Description:

This project will work to systematically reduce prison overcrowding and prolonged pretrial detention at Monrovia Central Prison while simultaneously training Liberian law students in critically-needed practical legal and administrative skills. The recipients will also gain a deeper understanding of “access to justice” problems facing much of the Liberian population. Moreover, the project will also work towards creating essential paper and electronic records for detainees at Monrovia Central Prison, thus supporting the Judiciary.


Peacebuilding Impact:

Pro-longed periods of pre-trial detention and/or wrongful detention at Monrovia Central Prison have led to a serious overcrowding of prison facilities.  Due to inadequate capacity and infrastructure, poor case management procedures, a lack of sufficiently trained legal practitioners and overburdened public servants, detainees are rarely ever given their right to due process, as required under the Liberian constitution. This leads to increased tension among detainees and guards, and a breakdown of trust in the public that the Liberian criminal justice system is effective.   Through this project, Liberian law students will assist Magistrates as law clerks to help more quickly process those accused persons currently housed at Monrovia Central Prison, relieving prison overcrowding.


Outputs and Key Activities:


-          Liberian law students receive advanced training in “Access to Justice” issues and critical administrative skills to supplement their legal studies and prepare them for future work in the criminal justice sector.

-          Capacity of Judiciary office strengthened by having skilled and knowledgeable assistance in processing cases.

-          Severe backlog of cases of pre-trial detainees at Monrovia Central Prison is systematically decreased.

-          Prison overcrowding is reduced.


-          Washington and Lee Liberian Law Practicum Fellow will select appropriate participants from qualified candidates currently on an Judicial Intern Scholarship at Louis A. Grimes School of Law

-          Liberian law clerks will be provided with limited stipends to support their activities

-          Washington and Lee Liberian Law Practicum Fellow will liaise between Liberian law students and national and international actors in the criminal justice sector to arrange for training (both via video conference, and in person) in “access to justice issues” and in skills necessary for successful law clerk activities

-          Liberian law students will partner with Magistrates in the criminal justice sector to process pre-trial detainees at Monrovia Central Prison


Indicator and Benchmarks:

Clear, detailed, and organized paper & electronic records regarding charges/dismissal/continuations for each detainee in pre-trial detention in Monrovia Central Prison created.

Liberian law clerks have acquired valuable legal and administrative skills.

Pre-trial detainee population at Monrovia Central prison significantly reduced.




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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Liberia or the lead agency for the programme.

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