Participants from different federal prisons in Ethiopia who attended the workshop. Photo: ICRC
Twenty-three technical staff from different federal prisons discussed a holistic approach to the preparation of prison design at a two-day workshop conducted in Addis Ababa on the 5th and 6th of February, 2020.
Considering the design, construction, operation and maintenance of prisons as an integrated process, involving the prison authorities in the design process and their relations with designers was the focus of the discussion. The workshop was organized by the ICRC, in collaboration with the Federal Prison Administration.
"The main objective of the workshop was to create awareness among the participants on guaranteeing the building of properly functioning prison facilities with essential services based on well thought and prepared designs," said Mulat Mengiste," Water & Habitat Engineer with the ICRC.
It is also aimed at raising their awareness on the importance of allowing prison authorities to take control of the process in the planning stage and ensure that the prisons built are what is needed, he added.
"Applying a holistic approach when designing prisons can cost prison authorities less while at the same time enables them to provide basic services to detainees. That was the important lesson I learned from the workshop," said one of the participants, Mekbib Worke, Federal Prisons' Office Engineer.
Mussie Kiros, is a Design Project Manager with one of the federal prisons. "We drew a lesson from the workshop that attaining a properly functioning and long-lasting prison heavily depends on the quality of the design," he noted, adding that, "Taking simple but well thoughtful steps while designing a prison can cost prison authorities less and can have a positive impact on the detainees."
Office engineers, architects and maintenance staff, as well as members of consultancy firms working for federal prisons, participated in the workshop.
Topics such as work modality between planner and designer, design concepts, principles and parameters were also discussed in the course of the workshop.
In Ethiopia, the ICRC works and makes dialogue with prison authorities so as to improve the conditions of detention and the treatment of detainees.