Ground-breaking research investigates the gruelling reality of female imprisonment in Sierra Leone

The study was implemented jointly by the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice and AdvocAid. It is part of the Vance Center’s Women in Prison Project.

The research team interviewed 86% of the women detained in Sierra Leone between November and December 2019. The report also includes perspectives of formerly incarcerated women, correctional centre officers, stakeholders working directly or incidentally with women in detention, and family members of women who were or had been to prison at the time.

This study greatly benefitted from the collaboration of the Sierra Leone Correctional Service, which gave the research team access to the correctional centers and permission to interview women in prison and correctional officers. Senior members of the Service also contributed their own views and experience to the research.

AdvocAid and the Vance Center launched the report on Monday 10 August 2020. The virtual event was moderated by Dr Kathy Boudin, co-director and co-founder of the Center for Justice at Columbia University (USA). Speakers included Hon Lahai Lawrence Leema, the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs in Sierra Leone.

For the report, click on the link below


I totally agree with the expert observation of the Judge in Kenema. The sense of power and entitlement that men feel which is perpetrated through a complex set of customs, and traditions manifests itself in gender inequality. Men use their masculinity to control women’s ability to express themselves and also depriving them access to their rights. John Masuwa