‘This is the lawful thing to do because the whole of Kono District like ten other districts upcountry do not have a detention facility for juveniles,’ she said. ‘Child suspects or accused refused bail should either be sent to Bo or Freetown which have a juvenile home. Before now, the juveniles refused bail are not sent to the remand home in Bo but kept in the adult correctional center. We have spoken against keeping juveniles in adult cells and prisons. We are delighted the prison authorities in Kono have listened to us.’
The decision not to admit juveniles into the correctional center came about after series of meetings between court officials and the Legal Aid Board Lawyer Ibrahim Mansaray.
According to Lawyer Ibrahim Mansaray, the Magistrate in Kono, Ibrahim Yillah has been very cooperative in granting bail to juvenile offenders. Also, in cases where there are no sureties, he would grant self-bail for minor offences.
The disclosure was made at a meeting the Legal Aid Board and Child Protection Officers of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the conference room of the Ministry of Justice, Guma Building in Freetown. The meeting discussed legal assistance to juveniles and the recruitment of children by criminals to perpetuate violence especially during elections.