Uganda Prisons Service is looking for 3.1 billion shillings to enable it recruit and train 1000 staff.
The Prisons officials led by the Commissioner General, Dr Johnson Byabashaija told the Defense and Internal Affairs Committee of Parliament on Monday that budgetary shortfalls hamper their operations. The Defense and Internal Affairs committee is currently considering the National Budget Frame Work Paper for Financial Year 2014/2015.
Simon Kimono, the Prisons Undersecretary in charge of Finance, said recruitment of staff is one of the unfunded priorities of Uganda Prisons which he categorized as emerging policy issues and spending pressures for the institution.
He noted that Prisons Service needs to recruit 920 warders and wardresses budgeted at 2.6 billion shillings. They also want to recruit 50 cadet principal officers and 30 cadet assistant superintendent of prisons, an exercise that will cost the institution 437 million shillings.
Kimono said that the Ministry of Finance and Public Service agreed and allowed Uganda Prisons Service to recruit the 1000 staff they require in Financial Year 2014/2015.
But in the Budget frame work paper no provision has been made towards this priority.
Dr Byabashaija noted that over the past years they have had a surge in the number of inmates saying that they have moved to 40,000 inmates as per March 2014.
He said with the increased number of prisoners there is need to increase staff saying that their current staff-prisoner ratio is 1 to 7.5 saying that for the population to feel safe and for Prisons authority to be able to discharge their services they should have a ratio of 1 to 3.
Byabashaija said that the available warders are stressed and constrained in the discharge of their functions.