By Yosam gucwaki
In a bid to decongest prisons in the districts of Masindi, Bulisa and Kiryandongo, Masindi magisterial court has embarked on giving community service punishments to offenders who have committed minor crimes.
â€œCommunity serviceâ€ means noncustodial punishment by which after conviction the court, with the consent of the offender, makes an order for the offender to serve the community rather than undergo imprisonment.
According to Moses Kule Lubangula, the chief Magistrate Masindi court, they are doing this to decongest prisons in the three districts which are too much overcrowded.
He adds that the ministry of Internal Affairs has deployed a district coordinator for community services by the names of Rachael Atuhura who will be spear heading and supervising the exercise.
He also says that the program has been ongoing but no much emphasis had been put on it adding that even the community members in the area have not yet embraced.
He also explains that when the offenders are given community service, some community members raise against them thinking that they may do the practice again.
Kule also notes that they are going to do thorough sensitization amongst the community members by conducting talk shows on the local radio stations such that members can understand its benefits.
Kule also says that at least every magistrate will be committing five offenders to community service every month.
By July last year, Masindi government prison had 1487 inmates and yet it supposed to accommodate 266 inmates.
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