The Rev. Terry Quoi is continuing his 2016 grant work for prison reform in Liberia. He is expanding his scope, from improving prison conditions for inmates to engaging church and community leaders in transforming the criminal justice culture from a punitive system to a rehabilitative system.
His work was initially delayed in summer ’17 by the general elections in Liberia, and the ensuing government transition. He has held several workshops with local church leaders, who have committed to working for prison reform and rehabilitation of former inmates. Although he encountered opposition from chiefs and elders in one community setting, he reports that their opinions were changed after considering the humanitarian implications of the punitive mindset. And he is beginning so see results in some areas: pre-trial detainees are being freed, conditions for representation are being dropped, and the overall welfare of inmates is improving. Prison reform is a new concept for most in authority and leadership in Liberia, but the Rev. Quoi is encouraged by the response he has received. He also continues to support the prison chaplaincy he began with a prior grant.