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VP Taylor Speaks At
Correction Officers’ Graduation

By Patrick N. Tokpah, Bong County Correspondent
Vice President Chief Jewel Howard Taylor says the Government of Liberia remains committed to strengthening Liberia’s corrections system and improving the overall justice delivery system of the country.

Vice President Taylor made the statement in Gbarnga, Bong County on February 24, 2023, when she served as keynote speaker during the graduation and induction ceremony of 54 corrections officers who underwent intensive training jointly conducted by Liberia’s Ministry of Justice and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative.

Stressing the significance of the rule of law sector, the first female Vice President said, “An effective rule of law sector is fundamental to the stability and prosperity of Liberia and so every effort should be made through budgetary allotment to improve it.”

She added that the inadequate number of corrections officers in Liberia has been hindering the ability of the corrections sector to effectively play its role in justice delivery in Liberia.
The Liberian Vice President at the same time called on the new corrections officers to execute their duty without discrimination.” This is not an easy task; it is a sacrificial job and needs your love for humanity,” she said.

She further emphasized that corrections officers are to respect the rights of inmates, and their responsibilities require that when inmates return to their communities, there should be changes in their behavior.

She expressed on behalf of the Government of Liberia thanks and appreciation for the level of support received from the US government and other international partners in strengthening the corrections sector of the country.

The Liberia Vice President further revealed that she will work with the Senate Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means and Finance and Rules, Order and Administration for an increment in the budget of the Ministry of Justice.

Vice President Taylor admitted that over the past budget years, the Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation budget has been reduced from 2.2 million to four hundred ninety thousand and now seven hundred thousand United States Dollars, something she stated is hindering the progress of the institution.

The tough-talking Vice President reaffirmed the government of Liberia’s commitment to making sure that the Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation becomes an Autonomous agency.

On February 24, 2023, the government of Liberia and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative in collaboration with the Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation (BCR) Ministry of Justice graduated 25 students from its ALPHA Platoon and 29 students from its BRAVO Platoon of 14th Class.

The Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation (BCR), was established by law in 1969. According to the Criminal Procedure Law (1969-70) the Division of Corrections is composed of three administrative sub-divisions namely the Bureau of Correctional Institutions, the Bureau of Probation, and the Board of Parole, all of which are within the Ministry of Justice. Legislation in 2010 and 2012 provided for the Bureau of Probation & Parole and the Board of Parole, respectively.

Attending the ceremony were heads of Law Enforcement Agencies, directors of Prisons, representatives of UN Agencies, the US Embassy, the Assistant Minister for Rehabilitation, and Local Authorities, among others.

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