UPS: David Nsalasatta

David Nsalasatta Commissioner Rehabilitation Services
David Nsalasatta

I was born in 1962 at Mulago Hospital in Kampala in central Uganda. At the age of 25 I graduated from Makarere University with a Bachelor in Social Work and Social Administration. I later in 2003 obtained a Master's degree in counselling Psychology at the same university. While looking for a job in 1985, I participated in interviews conducted by the Uganda Public Service to select fifteen Prison Officers. I later found out that I was one of the fifteen selected out of over four hundred candidates. So I considered myself very lucky. At the start of the one and a half year course for Cadet Prison Officers I found out that it would not lead to any certificate other than being confirmed as a Prison Officer, this was a big disappointment, however, at that time there were not many job openings so I decided to persist. Up to today I have no regrets of this decision; being a Prison Officer is an exciting job full of opportunities and every day brings new challenges. I have raised through ranks because of hard work and discipline.

Throughout my career I have served in many functions within UPS of which eleven years I worked at the Maximum Security Upper Prison in Luzira of which for six years I was the Officer in Charge, three years as in charge administration of over three thousand junior personnel at the prison headquarters, three years as Uganda prisons administrator, one year as a seconded advisor to the commissioner general of southern Sudan under the UN department of peace keeping operations. Currently I have spent four years as head of the rehabilitation department in UPS. While I worked as officer in charge for the maximum security prison in 1994 we started on the first steps of the now famous 'Open Door Policy' to make UPS a more open organisation. I was also involved in reviving vocational training to better prepare inmates in prison for their return to society and become good and contributing citizens. These days such programs have taken root and we have amongst others, workshops providing skills and quality products are produced by inmates, rehabilitation programs offered include: carpentries, metal workshops, tailoring shops, printing sections, handcraft etc. Prisoners are currently able to obtain vocational skills and experience while in prison. They also undertake exams and receive official certificates demonstrating their capabilities to their future employers. Currently we are involved in formal education and we are also developing programs that will positively change the behaviours and attitudes of the inmates. These specific programs should respond to individual misbehaviour of prisoners, like petty thieves, robbers, rapists, defilers and those who commit economic crimes, drug addicts and alcoholic related matters, etc.

David Nsalasatta The challenges we are facing is to offer these services to people in prisons in a dedicated approach to correct individual problems, not only within the large scale prisons, but also within the smaller ones. UPS operates over 200 prisons spread all over Uganda, so there is need for a large investment in terms of resources, manpower and funding. Offering rehabilitation programs to inmates requires a diversified approach; whereas some programs can be arranged in a class room, others need just small groups under a tree. Specific topics can only be addressed after developing a framework that we can replicate to individual prisons and individual groups.

Unfortunately UPS does not have enough resources and funding to support all these activities, therefore, we are actively seeking partnerships with other organisations, international prison organisations, ministries and NGO's like Second Chance Support (SCS) to fulfil our mission of a safe secure, humane and corrective custody that leads to reformation and social integration of offenders. We look forward to a continued support and partnership.

UPS Uganda Prisons Service
13-15 Parliament Avenue
P.O. Box 7182

Tel: +256 (0)414 342136