The third and final phase of the prison library project was launched yesterday. The project started in 2012 and it aims to give access to libraries and other educational services to more than 30,000 detainees in the 27 prisons throughout the Kingdom.
According to Sipar, the first phase of the project ‘Life Long Learning Program in Prisons through equivalency class, literacy class and library’ was implemented over three years from 2012 to 2015 at a cost of $500,000.
It said following the success of the first project, Sipar and General Department of Prisons (GDP) designed and submitted a new proposal for the second phase over three-years from March 2016 to February 2019 and received $600,000 in funding from French Development Agency (AFD).
The press release of Sipar stated this project is currently in its third and final phase, March 2019- February 2022, and benefits from the financial support of AFD and Pierre Bellon Foundation, totalling US$ 550,000.
Sipar director Hok Sothik said yesterday they achieved both hard and soft results for the first and second phase implementation of library prison projects.
He said all 27 prisons throughout the kingdom now have libraries in it.
“I think the project is very helpful for prisoners and we reviewed their behaviour is changed after having library in prisons,” Mr Sothik said. “Their feeling is better, there are less arguements between prisoners because reading helps them calm down and are more forgiving of each other,”
The final phase of the project will reinforce the existing library network and educational services, and ensure the sustainability of the project.
“The final goal is have the Life Long Learning Program in prisons be a part of the GDP for 2019-2023 by handing over the coordination of the 27 Library Prisons to the GDP and training GDP’s key stakeholders,” said press release.
Prom Channy, the Interior Ministry’s Education and Rehabilitation Department of General Department of Prison director, said at the seminar that a library in prison is very important and helps prisoners to gain knowledge and reduce boredom.
He said he hoped during the next two years, all the Rehabilitation Centers and provincial and city prisons begin to consider the sustainability of prison library services when Sipar completes its prison library project by the beginning of 2022.
Mr Channy said since the implementation of the project, there are 103,740 books in all libraries in prisons.