15th April 2024
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Juba Prison hosting 34 mentally ill persons – official

Author: Baria Johnson | Published: Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Lt Gen Atok Atem, the Director of the Juba National Prison speaks to Eye Radio on sexual exploitation allegedly by Juba Prison officers - Courtesy

The Director of Juba Central Prison has raised concerns about the lack of psychiatric hospital, which has compelled families to send 34 mentally ill persons at the prison facilities.

Lt. Gen Atok Atem Barac said the prison cannot reject the mentally ill because they are brought with legal warrants.

He, however, added that the mentally challenged persons are not criminals, and have been brought by their families for sake of their safety.

“We have about 34 mental ill patients in the prison. These mental ill patients are not criminals they are brought by relatives to the Judges and then they are sent to the prison for safety,” he said.

“It is also for the safety of the community, family and their own safety and we cannot reject them because they are brought by legal warrant.”

General Atok said the prison is not a good place for mentally challenged because it does not provide psychological support and medicines.

“In fact, they are supposed to be in the hospital they are not supposed to be brought to the prison but because we do not have even a single mental ill hospital in the country they are dumped in prison.”

“It became a burden to us because they need Psychological support and treatment. Some of the relatives bring drugs and some do not bring it so they are left there to stay.”

General Atok called on the National Ministry of Health to build a hospital specialized for mental illness.

“The solution is that for our National Ministry of Health to build a mental ill hospital so that those patients are accommodated in the hospital and to be taken care by the specialized.”




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