Amid criticisms by Liberia’s international partners that the Monrovia Central Prison was “overcrowded and filthy,” Solicitor-General Micah Wilkins Wright has blamed judges of magisterial courts for the over crowdedness of that prison.
Cllr. Wright leveled the charge in a statement Monday at the opening of the August term of criminal courts A, B, C and E at the Temple of Justice.
“The Monrovia Central Prison was not built for prison purposes, as its capacity is for 375 persons.
“Today we have 1,015 persons. So, everywhere one person is to stand you have four persons standing there. People have to use tents to lie down or stand up,” he said.
He urged the judges “to please shut (the prison) or stop sending people to jail because for every 5 persons released they receive 15 persons” more.
Cllr. Wright insisted that the over crowdedness of the prison was causing serous problems, resulting in inmates getting sick on a daily basis.
“It is no secret that our prison was overcrowded. And when our international partners write their reports on us we get angry. But, Your Honor, the prison was really overcrowded,” the Solicitor-General stressed.
However, Cllr. Wright suggested that magistrates “can also help by not taking advantage of people, but by allowing the legal process to take its course.”
Judges of several magisterial courts present at the court opening ceremony at the Criminal Court “A” appeared disappointed upon hearing the Solicitor-General’s statement.