Friday, June 6, 2014
Yesterday we went to one of Uganda's maximum security prisons, Luzira. MUBS has been a key player in the development of education programs for the prisoners. The program at the prison in one that often creates both nervousness and excitement. This year our visit coincided with the visit from faculty and staff from Pitzer University in California though the Prison Education Program. It was surprising to run into faculty and students from the US inside the prison walls. One of the faculty was working with the prisoners on their physical education programs, especially their soccer program. He worked with MUBS to schedule a game in the prison yard between a prison team and a team composed primarily Drake and MUBS students along with himself and one of his students. Our team played very well for a group that had never played together before, and we think the prisoners took it easy on us, resulting in a win for the visitors! The outcome was definitely a surprise. Following the match we discussed the impressive education programs offered to the inmates, who were described as circumstantial prisoners. This means that they are generally not life long criminals, but individuals whose circumstances lead them to commit an offense (such as robbery so they can eat). The education programs have been very successful. The participants in the program have an extremely low rate of returning to prison after release. The approach to rehabilitation was eye opening, the success rate even more surprising than the outcome of the soccer match. Students - What were your fears prior to the visit? What were your takeaways after the visit?