Category Archives: Rwanda

Following False Accusations and Unjust Imprisonment, an Innocent Man is Freed by his IBJ Lawyer

“The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood,” said Martin Luther King, Jr.

From the time of the initial legal needs assessment made for Rwanda in 2006, IBJ has made great strides in spreading that essential seed of hope of which Martin Luther King spoke in the quote above. In this genocide-ravaged country, IBJ has fostered a growing community of like-minded “disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice,” and willing to defend their brothers and countrymen for the sake of achieving, ultimately, a more secure and livable society.

In partnership with the Kigali Bar Association, IBJ has conducted rights awareness campaigns aimed at reaching the general public and legal skills workshops for lawyers willing to step up to the challenge of defending the defenseless. Among the lawyers IBJ has reached through its trainings, many have joined IBJ as volunteers, deepening their commitment to providing legal assistance pro bono, and reaching many accused individuals who would otherwise have gone unrepresented in a bewildering criminal legal process.

Jaques Karamira
IBJ Volunteer Lawyer Jaques Karamira

One such volunteer attorney, Jacques Karamira, has embodied this spirit of hope, and has demonstrated, through a recent case, the possibility of achieving positive results for his client through determination and an unwillingness to accept injustice. After taking part in IBJ’s skills trainings in 2010, Jacques was able to put his advocacy skills to work in the case of “Alex,” a prisoner he encountered in April 2011 while conducting a regular prison visit on behalf of IBJ.

Alex is an ordinary Rwandan citizen, a married father of five, who had been accused of a robbery. In his initial encounter with Jacques, Alex maintained his innocence, and said he had no idea why he was accused of this crime. According to Jacques’ investigation, the robbery in question took place in early 2009, although Alex’s arrest did not occur until early 2010. After his arrest, Alex told Jacques, he was subjected to cruel beatings at the hands of police, who would not allow his family to visit him until he finally confessed to the crime. For over 16 months prior to meeting Jacques, Alex was being held in pre-trial detention, facing charges he didn’t understand, awaiting trial at some uncertain time in the future.

Unfortunately, the situation that Alex was facing is not exceptional in Rwandan prisons. Approximately 26% of the entire prison population in Rwanda is detained awaiting trial. Cut off from their families and rarely able to afford access to legal counsel, they face life-threatening prison conditions. Although these detainees awaiting trial have not been found guilty of any crime, they are not segregated from the population of convicted prisoners. Without legal aid, many languish for months or even years without even knowing when their cases will be heard in a court of law.

With Jacques’ expert assistance, however, Alex would soon have his day in court. The key for Alex was having a skilled advocate like Jacques to help navigate the case through the system. Only weeks after their initial meeting, Jacques was having Alex narrate his entire ordeal in open court. Alex recounted his torture, both mental and physical, and renounced the false confession that police had extracted from him. As the prosecution had no better evidence to support the charge against him, Alex was found innocent. The court granted Alex immediate release, allowing him to finally return to his family.

While many injustices may seem insurmountable, IBJ has always held that ending the routine use of torture in the world’s criminal justice systems is an achievable goal with concrete solutions. The success that Jacques had in delivering Alex out of his unjust imprisonment is a clear example of a step in the right direction. IBJ is grateful to Jacques, one of Rwanda’s nonconformists, bringing his country ever closer to a more secure and livable future.

Image courtesy Krzysztof Racoń and Michal Wojtysiak, copyright 2011.

 

Kigali Skills Workshop Hones Defender Skills and Trains Trainers

Kellie Krake and John Tawanda Burombo share legal skills at IBJ's training workshop in Kigali, Rwanda

It was quite hot in Kigali on July 20th 2011. Despite the heat, 30 defense lawyers gathered at IBJ’s Rwanda office for a skills building training workshop to strengthen their ability to advocate for the rights of their clients. Kellie Krake, IBJ’s Training Director and an American lawyer with years of criminal defense experience, and John Busco Bugingo, the head of IBJ Rwanda, were at the helm of this intense training workshop.

Participants were very eager to share their values, stories, and to learn. Ideas and answers to questions came from all sides. The workshop focused on cross-examination techniques where lawyers analyzed a fact scenario to identify what to ask clients to get the most information out of them. Lawyers were also trained on how to build the theme and theory of the case. A presentation on early access to counsel and international standards followed. After the morning session, participants received a certificate of attendance identifying the skills they had just learned.

Rwandan attorneys take note of the criminal defense practice tips IBJ delivers

The second half of the daywas dedicated to training the trainers. The purpose of a Train the Trainers program is to get more experienced lawyers to be able to pass their skills onto others. Participants learned how to conduct a good and competent training session, and learned how to focus their efforts. They were also provided with materials to facilitate this task. Under IBJ’s current program, over 180 Rwandan lawyers have been trained in the last three years. In order to capitalize on this success, IBJ is now deploying the more skilled criminal defense lawyers to train others and thus multiply their impact.

IBJ Skills Training Workshop

The workshop was also a valuable networking opportunity for participants, who were given the opportunity to get involved as IBJ volunteer lawyers.

All images courtesy Krzysztof Racoń and Michal Wojtysiak, copyright 2011.

Criminal Defense Task Force Meeting Cements Commitment of Volunteer Lawyers in Rwanda

On 26th November, twenty lawyers from the Criminal Defense Task Force gathered in IBJ’s Kigali DRC to discuss challenges facing the justice system in Rwanda, with a particular emphasis on how to ensure access to legal counsel at the earliest stage of the criminal process and the implementation of the principle of the presumption of innocence. The objective of this Justice Café meeting was to come up with concrete solutions to challenges that ordinary defendants face regarding these issues.

A multitude of strategies and recommendations were put forward by the lawyers. One of the main suggestions was to enhance cooperation with relevant national authorities. An open roundtable discussion on the  issue of prolonged pre-trial detention in Rwanda with judges, prison officials, Supreme Court personnel, national prosecution authorities and law clerks, was sought to ensure that the accused have increased access to legal counsel. Experience shows that when all actors of the justice system are aware of the problems pertaining to pre-trial detention and greater cooperation among authorities and lawyers is promoted, a major step is taken in solving this issue.

IBJ lawyers were also advised to monitor and document cases dealing with prolonged pre-trial detention and use it as an advocacy tool. Lawyers were encouraged to consider how the cases of illegal detentions they handle can be leveraged as opportunities to establish the right to a speedy trial for all arrestees across the country. Regarding early access to counsel, lawyers suggested an early intervention mechanism through the deployment of lawyers to police stations and prosecution offices to assist people as soon as arrest is effective.

Lawyers voiced particular concerns over juveniles’ access to legal representation and delays in juvenile cases. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kigali Bar Association (KBA) to appoint two lawyers to the Intermediary courts. Lawyers requested IBJ’s increased intervention to support the MoJ and KBA and continue promoting the growing culture of legal aid in Rwanda.

Above: Studious atmosphere prevails at IBJ’s third Criminal Defense Task Force Meeting at the CDRC in Kigali (Photo by Hadijah Batamuriza).

Above: IBJ Rwanda Fellow John Bosco Bugingo reasserts the need for lawyers’ continuous involvement to secure legal aid for all in Rwanda (Photo by Hadijah Batamuriza).

Above: Members of the Task Force expressed a strong appreciation for IBJ’s English/French French/English Glossary of Legal Terms (Photo by John Bosco Bugingo).

IBJ’s Glossary Creates Sensation at EALS Conference

On November 19th and 20th, IBJ Rwanda Fellow John Bosco Bugingo, IBJ Burundi Fellow Astère Muyango and one of IBJ Burundi’s Legal Fellows, Janvier Ncamatwi, attended the East Africa Law Society (EALS) Annual General Meeting and Conference hosted by the Burundi Bar Association at the Hotel Celexon in Bujumbura, Burundi. The theme of the conference was “One East Africa: Democracy and Good Governance” and it aimed to bring together lawyers from different countries in the East African region. With IBJ’s aim of providing legal assistance and due process to the accused all over the world and in light of the East Africa Defender Manual Project, it promised to be an important and interesting meeting for IBJ to contribute to.

The two-day conference included presentations on various relevant topics of interest for the legal community of East Africa. The topics that were discussed were harnessing democracies in East Africa; progress towards the East African Common market; the quest for free and fair electoral processes in East Africa and access to justice for all. Papers on these topics that were written for the purpose of the discussions will be available soon on the EALS website.

With the growing standardization and harmonization of laws across the East Africa Community (EAC), the language barrier between the Anglophone Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and the mostly Francophone Burundi and Rwanda becomes particularly challenging. Even within Rwanda the situation is tricky as lawyers can plead in court in French, English or Kinyarwanda, making the procedure at times very complex, labor-intensive and time-consuming. To get lawyers excited about the upcoming manual, IBJ developed a 50-page glossary of English/French and French/English legal terms pertaining to the field of criminal law with the support of the EALS, the Burundi Bar Association and the Kigali Bar Association. The glossary translates more than 800 legal terms from English to French and vice versa. 400 printed copies of the manual have been distributed at the East Africa Law Society Annual General Meeting and Conference on November 19th and 20th 2010 in Bujumbura, Burundi, creating a sensation within the East African legal community. Many lawyers appreciated the glossary and showed interest in IBJ’s work in the different communities of East Africa. At the end of the conference, only ten of the 400 copies were left. Additionally, a reception that was organized for those attending ensured that lawyers could interact informally and enabled our fellows to meet interesting people – including the newly elected President of the EALS, the CEO of the EALS and of the national bar associations, as well as individual lawyers – and spread the word about IBJ.

This meeting was an excellent platform to increase IBJ’s work visibility across East africa, launch the IBJ East Africa project and to reassert IBJ’s commitment to improving the legal system and legal integration in East Africa.

Above: IBJ Rwanda Fellow John Bosco Bugingo (left) and Burundi Fellow Astère Muyango (right) meet with the EALS CEO Tito Byenkya (middle) (Photo by Janvier Ncamatwi).

Above: IBJ Burundi Fellows Astère Muyango and Janvier Ncamatwi congratulate the new President of the EALS (far left) (Photo by Aline Nijimbere).

Above: IBJ Rwanda and Burundi Fellows pose with the CEO of the EALS (far left) and the Burundi expert of the drafting committee of the IBJ/EALS defense manual (far right) (Photo by Aline Nijimbere).

Above: The newly elected committee of the EALS (Photo by Astère Muyango).

Justice has no border

In March 2010, an IBJ lawyer received a troubling phone call from a Ugandan acquaintance. He was expressing his distress for a 34-year-old Ugandan who had just been convicted of homicide, despite the serious legal deficiencies which marred the procedure. Crushed by this all too common story of injustice, the IBJ lawyer knew he had to do something.

Unemployed then, the accused had accepted to drive a family of Ugandans to Rwanda for a wedding. Unfortunately, while he was driving, he got involved in a car accident which tragically ended up taking the life of a Rwandan girl and injured two other persons. Horrified by the accident, the family who had hired him ran away.

The man was taken to the police where he was interrogated in a language he does not speak nor understand.  He was then brought to court, unrepresented.  The person who was supposed to act as an interpreter during the hearing got held in contempt and thrown out of the Court room. Defenseless, the accused was convicted of homicide. He was then brought to a remand prison in the north of the country, where he was further subjected to mental anguish, already exacerbated by the tragic accident and surreal investigation and court appearances. Breadwinner of the family, he left a wife and two young children in despair.

When the IBJ lawyer heard about his case, the accused had just been convicted. Not discouraged, the IBJ lawyer contacted an IBJ volunteer lawyer based in the Northern province and arranged for him to meet with the accused. The volunteer lawyer met with the accused and reassured him that people were working on his case.

The accused accepted to sign a letter of appeal which was brought to the President of the Court of Appeal of Rwanda. The decision of the Court of Appeal left a bitter taste in the IBJ lawyer’s mouth. The appeal date was scheduled for March 2012. Galvanized by this new injustice, the IBJ lawyer actively lobbied the Judge and filed additional letters to the Court of Appeal to get an earlier date of trial.  He finally succeeded in obtaining a hearing on November  18th 2010 and the same day obtained his full acquittal. The man was able to go back to Uganda where he was reunited with his wife and two young children. If it wasn’t for the perseverance of IBJ lawyers, he would most certainly still be in remand prison with little hope of recovering his freedom.

“I was flogged for a crime I did not commit”

During a routine visit to Rwanda’s Gitarama central prison – considered one of the most overcrowded prisons on earth – the IBJ team of lawyers met with a demobilized soldier detained since 2007. To protect his identity, we will refer him to as ‘Pascal’.

In November 2007, Pascal met his friends outside the city of Gitarama to supposedly steal a car. One of his friends never showed up. It is said he instead alerted the police. The vehicle that was supposed to get robbed arrived almost one hour late. Pascal and the two other men had left by then. As they were walking back towards the town, a civilian vehicle approached them and offered a ride. They accepted and were driven straight to the police station. All three were flogged at several occasions to confess to the alleged crime.

Besides the claim of one of their comrades, nothing indicating they had the intention to or had committed the crime was ever found. The coerced investigative methods worked against them though, as under physical pain and psychological harassment they confessed to the crime in their respective statements.

Like many Rwandans, neither Pascal nor his friends could afford the services of a defense attorney. Practicing lawyers outside Kigali are few. Left unrepresented, each of them was convicted except the one who had collaborated with the police to proceed with the arrest. Pascal’s two comrades were sentenced to three years’ imprisonment each while he was convicted to four years, as he allegedly planned the robbery.

Pascal explained that, by the time IBJ lawyers got in touch with him, the bruises he sustained from the repeated scourging had healed without medical care. He never raised the fact he had been tortured in court.

The IBJ team of lawyers appealed the adjudication of the original proceeding and challenged the statement Pascal had tendered due to torture. Their efforts were successful. They obtained Pascal’s immediate release as well as the acquittal of the two other co-accused persons in late November 2010. At the announcement of the appeal judgment Pascal could barely hide his delight. Beyond this individual case, by challenging state torture, IBJ lawyers urge courts to send a strong signal to the investigating authorities throughout the country: torture is not acceptable.

As the world is celebrating the 62nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we can have a thought for Pascal, his countless friends who are still languishing in jail, and the extraordinarly dedicated lawyers who daily strive to make human rights a breathing reality in some of the most challenging environments.

New Project Encourages Regional Integration in East Africa

In light of the growing East Africa integration, International Bridges to Justice has embarked on a new project which aims at institutionalizing best defender practices among East African lawyers. IBJ is teaming up with the East Africa Law Society (EALS), the premier regional bar association, to develop an East Africa Legal Defense Manual that will help lawyers improve their skills and knowledge in the area of criminal law and defense. The EALS brings together over 7000 lawyers from the six national bar associations of the East Africa Community (which includes Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi) and is therefore in a unique position to promote the dissemination of best defender practices across the East Africa legal community. With the manual, we hope to raise criminal defense lawyers’ professional status and equip them with practical skills to improve their credentials in criminal defense and ultimately become better advocates for the rights of  of East African people.  Integration among the East African nations has officially started with the establishment of the East Africa Community which promotes cross border integration on multiple levels including economics, politics and legal development. Therefore, this cooperation strives to enhance the progress already made by accelerating the harmonization of legal practices across the region and facilitating the transition to techniques of the adversarial system in Burundi and Rwanda, where IBJ has vibrant criminal defender programs.  The manual will provide a practical and useful tool for all criminal defense lawyers in the region.

The content of the manual will be jointly developed by an international expert in the field of criminal defense and a team of local experts, nominated by the national Bar associations, who are best poised to make sure that cultural and country-specific issues are tackled in the manual.  The manual will outline best practices and advocacy techniques with a focus on enhancing legal knowledge, practical defense skills – particularly trial skills, education on international norms and standards and some examples of their domestic implementation in all five countries. It will include practical tips about ways to mount a vigorous defense and include forms, checklists, and memos to help lawyers prepare and manage their cases.

It will be distributed through the national Bar Associations of the member countries and will be available online on the EALS website and IBJ’s Elearning platform. A French version will also be made available for Francophone lawyers in Rwanda and Burundi. We expect the first draft of the manual to be completed by April 2011.

Download the IBJ English/French Legal Lexicon

IBJ is committed to contributing to the growing regional integration in other ways aswell. On November 19 and 20, the EALS is hosting its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Bujumbura, Burundi. IBJ Rwanda and Burundi Fellows John Bosco and Astère and IBJ Burundian Legal Fellows Aline Nijimbere and Janvier Ncamatwi will participate in the lively discussions that will undoubtedly take place, strengthening the relationship with the East Africa legal community. Furthermore, IBJ has produced a glossary of English/French legal terms for the use of East Africa Francophone lawyers which will facilitate the integration of Rwanda and Burundi into the Anglophone East Africa Community. We are hoping to distribute copies of the glossary at the EALS AGM.

Furthermore, this cooperation is an excellent opportunity for IBJ to establish a base to promote access to legal counsel and human rights across East African countries. With this project we have laid the first foundations for a possible East Africa Defender Resource Hub which will support – both at the national and regional level – criminal defender trainings as well as the implementation of coordinated answers to the challenges of the criminal justice system  throughout East Africa. This way, we will reduce the prevalence of torture in pretrial detention and help the accused in East Africa. Therefore, we are very excited to kickstart the development of the manual and future cooperation in East Africa and thank the International Bar Association for their support.

Above: John Bosco (left), IBJ Rwanda Fellow and Astère (right), IBJ Burundi Fellow at the EALS 2009 AGM where the foundations for cooperation between the EALS and IBJ were laid

Above: Astère (left) and Bruce Kyerere, the Uganda Law Society President at the 2009 EALS AGM (Photo by John Bosco Bugingo)

Above: Astère (right) with Dr. Fauz Twaib, the Tanzania Law Society President at the 2009 EALS AGM (Photo by John Bosco Bugingo)

Second Justice Café Discussion Strengthens Kigali Criminal Defense Task Force

Building on the momentum of its legal defense training workshops and other awareness-raising activities, IBJ Rwanda has established a core group of 23 dedicated lawyers who are reunited in the Criminal Defense Task Force. They meet regularly to identify and discuss key challenges they face in their daily work and suggest solutions for improvement. On the 30th of September, the Task Force met at the DRC in Kigali to discuss the difficulties in providing legal aid to indigents in Rwandan prisons.

One of the difficulties that came up in the discussions was the need to travel long distances repeatedly, especially because cases can take up to ten court hearings before being resolved. Also, the lack of access to legal resources in print and on the internet has been highlighted as a difficulty by some of the Task Force members. IBJ is striving to fill this gap by providing visitors to the DRC with the opportunity to use a new desktop computer to conduct online legal resource and access IBJ’s eLearning platform. A collection of human rights and criminal law books kindly donated by Book Aid International is on its way.

Members of the Task Force were interested in improving their legal English skills at the DRC and on IBJ’s online Legal Training Resource Center. This is important, particularly in the context of the growing regional integration which requires use of legal English and familiarity with the adversarial system in force in the vast majority of the East African countries. Lawyers highlighted defender capacity building and regular mentoring sessions as a core strategy to help ensure greater quality of legal counsel throughout the proceedings. In this regard, they will find the new glossary developed by IBJ, translating legal jargon from French to English, very useful.

The discussions also emphasized the need for continuous education and awareness-raising among the public to help them demand their rights, in particular their right to a lawyer in case of arrest. Members of the Task Force committed to systematically inform their clients and detainees of their basic legal rights while conducting prison visits. Intensified education of prison wardens and officials was also identified as a strategy to ensure increased access to legal aid.  By addressing these issues, the Task Force members are closing the gap in legal aid provision in criminal cases, as the Government-sponsored legal aid centers called Maisons d’ Accès a la Justice primarily focus on civil cases.

Following up on the need to create a tighter connection between the Task Force and the DRC, two particularly dedicated, outspoken and determined Task Force members – Mary Katushabe and Olivier Gatabazi – were elected Task Force representatives by the rest of the lawyers over the course of the meeting. Both display an unwavering commitment to criminal legal aid: of the six cases that Olivier is handling on behalf of IBJ none of them is financially supported; and as for Mary, she is representing eighteen indigents on behalf of IBJ and is fully supported for only seven of them. The two representatives will act as liaison between the Task Force members and the DRC, thus ensuring the constant flow of communication between the lawyers and IBJ. The Task Force Justice Café discussion that took place on the 30th of September proved to be valuable in identifying key challenges and possible solutions and maintaining the momentum among the volunteer lawyers who have already assisted 135 detainees, with on-going mentoring from IBJ Rwanda Fellow. This will ultimately ensure that the criminally accused get the most professional and best defense possible and will bring Rwanda one step closer to IBJ’s mission of ensuring that every man, woman and child accused of a crime has effective access to legal counsel.

The next Task Force meeting will take place on November 26th. In the meantime, the volunteer lawyers will participate in group or one-on-one mentoring sessions at the DRC where newly-minted lawyers will be able to learn “on the job”. We are excited that the Task Force members are recognized as contributing to and promoting positive change in the criminal justice system. They are motivated to continue on this course and even find possible funding sources for legal aid pilot projects.

Above: Rwandan Criminal Defense Task Force meet to discuss ways forward for the legal aid system (Photo by John Bosco Bugingo)

Above: Members of the Criminal Defense Task Force listening to colleagues during the Justice Cafe (Photo by Hadijah Batamuliza)

Above: Rwandan Lawyers meet at the DRC to discuss challenges and solutions they face in the provision of legal aid (Photo by Hadijah Batamuliza)

Challenging Unlawful Accusation in Rwanda: the story of “Mark” and IBJ lawyer Dative Mujawamariya

Dative Mujawamariya is one IBJ Legal Task Force Lawyer who has been relentless in her efforts to facilitate access to justice in Rwanda. Dative participated in the two IBJ trainings and attended mentoring sessions at the Kigali CDRC, which she indicates have greatly helped her develop and assert her legal skills. She agreed to volunteer with IBJ and has already taken eight cases.

On August 11th 2010, Dative took on the case of a 27 year-old-man accused of rape. The man, whom we will refer to as Mark, is an impoverished cattle keeper. He was accused of raping a neighbor’s daughter. The key witness told police she had seen the girl in Mark’s bedroom holding money worth 50 Frw, the purpose of which was to buy her silence to her parents.

Mark was arrested by the police on July 2nd, 2010. He spent over a month in custody without ever meeting a lawyer and with no hope of being summoned to court. Then, the key witness came to visit Mark to apologize for having lied to the authorities and wrongfully accused him. She confessed that she had been promised 20,000 Frw by the victim’s father.

As Mark was facing a life sentence, Dative came across his case during one of her routine visits to the prison where he was being held to search for prisoners in need of legal aid. She read the medical statements in Mark’s file, which provided evidence that the crime had never been committed: medical tests on the young girl showed no signs of sexual intercourse.

Dative went on to solicit a trial date, and although the court calendar always seems fully booked, she was lucky enough to secure an August 26th date. The trial was subsequently subject to further delay, but this allowed Dative to compile compelling evidence against the prosecution’s case.

On the trial day of September 2nd, the case was heard, and that same day Mark was able to walk home following his acquittal. This victory – winning an innocent man’s life back – is one case among many that have given the volunteer legal defense team the courage to continue to fight.

Dative at the Kigali CDRC

My first visit to Kigali Central Prison

I have been working for IBJ as Rwanda Office Coordinator since March, but it was not until August that I decided to visit a prison.

When I arrived at the main gate the first thing the guards asked me for was my identification. They also asked if I was a lawyer. Later, I spoke with one of the lawyers who had come to visit a prisoner, and she told me that all lawyers are allowed to enter freely into the prison except on Fridays.

I often see prisoners doing community work around town in pink and orange uniforms but I was amazed to find out what each colour meant. Prisoners in orange are already serving their sentence. Those in pink are either waiting to be given a trial date or waiting for the judgment. This was insightful to learn.

Some prisoners were playing but some looked devastated and sick, with no medical attention.

There were a lot of activities going on in the prison. Some prisoners were digging and building things. I asked some prisoners how they eat and who cooks for them, and I learned that they have regular meals such as breakfast, lunch and supper. Fellow prisoners take turns cooking in shifts. It was quite impressive to see them working together.

I learned that many of the prisoners are deeply religious. One of the prisoners who I was able to talk to told me that many detainees have become “saved” since they have been in prison. There is a Mosque and a church in the prison; and from time to time Sheik and Pastors come in to preach.

As I walked around the prison, I learned that some prisoners don’t live together. There are blocks for young children under 18 years and another block for adults. When it comes to women who were imprisoned when they were pregnant, they give birth in the prison and live with their new born baby until the child is around 5 years old. Then the child is taken to the mothers’ relatives; and if she does not have a family the kid is taken to an orphanage.

From this quick visit it seems like prisoners get regular meals, some prisoners are employed, but it is true that some facilities are being under looked like medication for prisoners and women who live with their kids until they are 5 years old.