UK Based Non-Profit Trains Prisoners to Become Lawyers & Legal Assistants

A UK based non-profit is working to empower incarcerated people throughout East Africa to obtain legal representation through a legal education.

The non-profit Justice Defenders, founded by Alexander McLean in 2007,  has partnered with the University of London and more than 50 prisons throughout Kenya and Uganda to reach almost 40,000 incarcerated people with legal services and classes. Through seminars and other training, inmates are equipped with tools to become their own legal representatives.

Isaac Ndegwa Kimaru, a prisoner in Kenya and current program participant, was provided an opportunity to complete his law degree. After successfully representing himself in court, he, like many of the program participants, advocated in court for their fellow prisoners.

McLean said his motivation for starting the organization was to put the power of the law in the hands of the poor, rooted in an ethic he describes as “bridging the justice gap.”

Since 2007, the non-profit has trained 341 auxiliary paralegals and other support staff to provide services in 46 prisons. Additionally, within the next 10 years, Justice Defenders hopes to reach 1 million defenseless people “to protect rights while addressing wrongs” in East Africa.

Source: Good News Network