Prison that CBI Sierra Leone prison ministry visits.Cynthia Williams, CBI’s deputy director for international development, described the desperate plight of child prisoners in Sierra Leone during a Seminar for Continuing Education at CBI headquarters.

Williams reported that Sierra Leone’s seventeen prisons are overcrowded and often operate at six to eight times the intended capacity. Rations are distributed only once daily, and often the government fails to deliver food for days on end. Sanitation and healthcare are almost nonexistent, and the stench of the facilities keeps visitors away.

“These conditions would be bad enough for adults, but there are children in these prisons,” said Williams, who visited Sierra Leone recently to launch CBI’s satellite campus there.

Williams also reported on the success of CBI Sierra Leone, headed by director Lahai Kargbo, whose team is the only ministry to enter the facilities on a weekly basis. Additionally, CBI is the only prison ministry in the country to offer regular, long-term discipleship.

Kargbo is also part of important initiatives to improve living conditions in the juvenile facilities. Thanks in part to his efforts, the number of beatings administered to children has been greatly reduced. Currently, Kargbo is seeking rehabilitative programs for child prisoners, who are often homeless upon their release.

To learn more about CBI Sierra Leone, click here.