The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) in the Archdiocese of Lilongwe is eyeing a partnership with the Catholic University of Malawi (CUNIMA) in calling for community service sentences on petty cases as a way of lowering high numbers of inmates in Malawi Prisons.
Among others, CCJP in the Archdiocese of Lilongwe seeks a hand of help on research and publication of literature on community service sentence that is known as Adult Diversion and capacity building on the implementation of Adult Diversion in this country.
CCJP Lilongwe Archdiocesan Secretary Kondwani Noel Mtonza said the Commission seeks to share literature that can support periodic reviews of CUNIMA programs in the Faculty of Social Sciences to meet the demands of addressing adult diversion in Malawi.
“First and foremost, we want the Social Workers interns that they provide us, to become the Social Workers that Malawi needs since this is the factory that produces much-needed professionals. We would like to share with the University the gaps that we have noted to be considered in their reviews of the programs relating to this issue of adult diversion,” said Mtonza.
Mtonza added that the Commission wants joint support with CUNIMA in lobbying the Government to pass a bill that guides Social Work into being a law in this country.
“We want also to push together the issue of gazetting Social Workers. You know, we have graduates from the Catholic University of Malawi but they are not gazetted Social Workers, so they work informally, we are trying to find modalities, we are lobbyists, we are advocates, we work well with the Government of Malawi and we want to see how best we can do this together,” added Mtonza.
Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences at CUNIMA, Loveness Imaan, disclosed that the university is ready to work with the Commission in the successful implementation of Adult Diversion in Malawi.
“Once we have completed the processes of this partnership, we are to work together on resource mobilization, publishing the literature they have gathered for national consumption but also train their community based Social Workers,” said Imaan.
Imaan then added that the country is to benefit from this partnership as they aim at helping in decongesting the country’s prisons.
For the past years, Malawi has been registering high numbers of inmates in the country’s prisons nationwide. The situation is worrisome as inmates are being exposed to hazardous environments where they are likely to get communicable diseases due to congestion.
Through its project that CCJP in the Archdiocese of Lilongwe has been doing for the past ten years, the Commission seeks to help in lowering the numbers of prisoners through community service sentences on petty cases.
The project depends on the social workers who play a critical role in advocating for community service sentences on petty cases.
Over the years, CUNIMA has been supporting the project by providing Social Work interns.