Becora, Timor-Leste: 14 January 2010 - Looking at the Google Earth images above it is easy to see the physical improvements that have been made at the Becora prison over the past 3 years. However, in addition to the physical improvements, there are numerous other improvements in the capacity of prison guards, and also the conditions of living for the prisoners. The above photos show the physical development over the past two years, the photo on the left taken the 2007 and the photo on the right, in 2009. Prisons Director, Ms. Helena Madeira Gomes, remarks that the progress over the past two years has been very notable.
Of most importance is that effective security measures have been created and resulted in the fact that no prisoners have escaped from the prison since 2007. She advised that "in the years up to 2007, numerous prisoners escaped over the years , the number over 100." It was at this time that the JSP began to assist the Prison System with the provision of two specialized advisors. Since that time, the UNDP JSP has collaborated with the Ministry of Justice to give recommendations for development, as well as implement the MoJ Strategic Plan for the Correction Services. The significant improvements in security can be credited to a exterior wall build by the Ministry of Justice and a fence constructed by the JSP.
Additionally, the Prison advisors have worked with national trainers, to deliver trainings aimed at the capacity development of the prison guards. Initially, trainings in basic security began and more recently have been expanded into new areas such as first aid, self defense and maintaining security in a situation of prisoner disturbance. UNDP has also implemented a training of trainers in these topics, to ensure the sustainability of the JSP support. Developments at Becora Prison have not only created a secure facility, but have also worked towards international standards. The JSP will continue to work with the Prison service on further developments in physical and human resource, in line with national strategic objectives.
see pictures at http://www.tl.undp.org/undp/Becora%20Prison%20Development.htm