A study to determine the factors that contribute to congestion in the Zambian Prisons: A case of Lusaka Central, Kamwala remand and Mwembeshi Prisons
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The study was designed to determine factors that contributed to congestions in the Zambian Prisons: A Case of Lusaka Central, Kamwala Remand and Mwembeshi Prisons. The total population of the study included inmates, administrator, police, prisons and judiciary officers. The researcher used random sampling method and selected hundred inmates, twenty police officers from stations within Lusaka urban, twenty prison officers (including the administrator) from the three prisons and ten officers from the judiciary department. The researcher collected data using the questionnaire to the inmates, interview guides were administered to the administrator, police, prisons and judiciary officers. The data was analysed critically using tables of frequencies and percentages and followed by discussion. The results of the study were that: •There was congestion in the Zambian prisons; •There was no seriousness in the execution of justice; •There was limited accommodation for inmates in the Zambian prisons; and •There were some adverse and psychological effects affecting those in the prisons The study recommended among others the following: •Restriction of freedom which is one of the alternatives to imprisonment and is not connected with the placement of offenders in prisons. It primarily involves the obligation of the offenders to work and stay in a specified place of residence Bail is another alternative to imprisonment and is only granted as a temporary measure while the accused is awaiting the final determination of his case by the courts. They can be a provision for the release from criminal sentence in the event that the offender is granted bail. Community service is another popularised method of criminal sentencing that has assumed some level of importance in developed countries. It can be an alternative to imprisonment for petty offenders and some cases as a placement for offenders who cannot afford to pay their fines when sentenced by the courts. Open air prisons (open air reformatory schools). The researcher believes that building more prisons can not be a genuine solution to congestion. Renovations of these old, old prisons can be the answer. Opening of more open air prisons - open air reformatory schools can assist greatly in decongesting the prisons. Apart from contributing to the decongestion of the prisons, here inmates have to learn to use the land for productive purposes plus training on other skills which may be useful to them once they are freed.
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