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Prisoners get pay rise

Internal Affairs Minister, JJ Odongo, has signed a statutory instrument authorising an increment of allowances of prisoners providing labor services to both private and government projects.

Prison Services Spokesperson Frank Baine addressing the media

The allowances have been increased by between 36 percent, Uganda Prisons said.

A skilled prisoner like a teacher, carpenter, who offers a service will be paid sh1, 398 per day, up from sh500 while a semi-skilled prisoner will earn sh699, up from sh250.

A non-skilled prisoner, who mainly engages in digging, will be given sh280 per day, up from sh100.

According to Frank Baine, the Prisons spokesperson, the development followed an amendment to the Prison Act.

The proposals for revised rates were made by the Prison boss, John Byabashaija, while appearing before Parliament’s Defence and Internal Affairs committee on January 24, 2017, to present the sector’s Budget Framework Paper for the 2017/2018 financial year.

According to Baine, the money earned by the prisoner is used for their subsistence while in prisons.

He said all prisoners, except those on death row, are supposed to do some form of work.

“Some prisoners request that they get their money at the end of their prison term, while others get paid daily,” he said.

He explained that in case a prisoner dies, their money is given to the family at the time of claiming the dead body from prison authorities.

As of this week, there were 60,211 prisoners in the country’s prisons.

Of these, 50 percent were inmates on remand, 49 percent were convicts and one percent were inmates on civil crimes such as defaulting on debt, according to statistics from the prison authority.

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