Please support African Prisons Project to provide access to Legal Education through The University of London to 3 students
With our Access to Justice Programme continued to expand, giving a voice to many prisoners denied a fair trial through reasons of poverty. There are currently 30 men and women studying law through distance learning with the University of London with APP’s help. Not only does this give people the means to mount their own defence (three people have challenged and won their own appeal against the death sentence since the launch of the project), but every student helps to defend approximately 35 others.
The African Prisons Project exists because we believe there is a need to recognise the inherent worth of every human being.
We work in a continent where physical punishment and the death penalty are still widespread and where, for many people, a prison sentence means hard labour. We serve countries with police forces and prison services which are often underfunded and undertrained. Countries where many people are in prison for being vagabonds or vagrants; debtors or loiterers; criminal lunatics or lunatic criminals. Countries where the death penalty is given for witchcraft or procuring an abortion, mutiny, treason and cowardice.
Almost all the prisoners that we serve have never met a lawyer. Many wait in prison for years, even decades before going to court and in many countries more than two thirds of prisoners have not been convicted of an offence.
Susan has aided in overturning her own death sentence since beginning her studies through the University of London, and now runs a legal clinic within the prison to help fellow inmates with their cases. Another of our students has also overturned his death sentence, and has since been released and fully cleared of all charges. He is now back working for the Ugandan army.
“Studying Law has been hard, but it gives me satisfaction. I have been able to challenge my own death sentence and my legal knowledge has been of great help to my fellow inmates. I have helped them to access bail, succeed in appeals and mitigate lesser sentences. In the future I want to be a voice for those whose human rights are abused.” Susan, Luzira Prison
By studying law through African Prisons Project, I have been able to aquire legal skills that will enable me to become a better citizen. I like to assist others who are on the same path in seeking justice within the Kenyan courts. Jane, Langata Prison
This is such an important project. It costs African Prisons Project £5,000 to put one student through this undergraduate law qualification. This covers the fees, examinations fees, tuition fees, books and stationary, and funds lecturers and advisors coming in to the prisons to offer individual help and group classes.
One of the women due to begin her studies is Martha, having completed her O-Levels in 2001 and then a Diploma in Criminology and Social Order, she now hopes to continue on to a Common Law Degree. Martha hopes to use the knowldege gained to positively affect the lives of prisoners offering legal advice, assitance with court preparation and appeals.
Please help us to continue to make this project a success. Please help us to provide access to education to individuals who have been stripped of their lives and their identity, and help them to defend themselves and those around them justly.
A fair and accountable justice system should be every person’s right. Please help African Prisons Project in making this happen.