His Hon. Chief Justice of Tanzania, Mohamed Chande Othman issued a plea to the Tanzanian judiciary to impose lower sentences of imprisonment and consider community sentences where appropriate , as part of his opening speech at a UK Aid funded event on penal reform in Dar es Salaam.
Penal Reform International (PRI) and the Tanzanian Ministry of Home Affairs jointly hosted the first ‘Alternatives to Imprisonment in East Africa’. The event attended by the Permanent Secretary of Home Affairs Mr Mbarak Abdulwakil, Inspector General of Police, the Director of Public Prosecutions and Heads of Probation and other criminal justice agencies from around East Africa aimed at identifying ways of implementing alternatives to imprisonment. Considering community based sentencing options and utilising bail conditions are important ways in which prison overcrowding can be reduced.
Following His Honourable Chief Justice’s speech, Lindsey McNally, Criminal Justice Advisor based at the British High Commission in Dar es Salaam outlined the importance of reducing the number of prisoners being held in pre-trial detention, which limited a person’s access to justice and undermined the concept of innocence until proven guilty. The eroding of such basic legal rights undermined the rule of law.
Alison Hannah, Executive Director, PRI was delighted with the impact of the opening presentations and pleased that HMG were supporting the event.
Link to PRI website