Yesterday was a fun filled day as we celebrated Women’s Day with the formerly incarcerated women. The women were extremely happy as they interacted with one another; they had a manicure and pedicure treat; and they shared a lovely meal.
We were honored to have Ms Samalie Wakholi, Head of Sexual Gender Violence Department at the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who graced the occasion as the Guest of Honor. The women interacted with her and shared their concerns and pleas which included: while sentencing, court should differentiate punishments given to first time offenders from those given to those who have been to prison before; court should consider expectant mothers and women imprisoned with their babies; and among other issues.
Samalie encouraged the women to always speak the truth; that they shouldn’t be convinced by the manipulative lawyers to plead guilty when they are innocent as a pretext of getting lenient sentences; that they should avoid giving bribes to police officers and those that promise them to get over the case.
Instead, they should try to get lawyers to represent them; try as much as possible to sensitize women that are challenged with the law, especially those in prison to try as much as possible and write to the DPP’s office to attend to their files just like the men do because they often receive more requests from incarcerated men than those from incarcerated women. “When faced with a bad experience, we should use it to learn rather than to curse.” she added.
During the celebrations, the women were extremely happy to interact with Ms Susan Burton. Founder of A New Way of Life USA.