Women's Prisoner Programs
Female prisoners often come from remote areas where literacy and education are not high priorities for women. In many cases, the women have no understand of the crime they have committed or of the legal process that put them in prison. A lack of education and social stigmatisation leaves these women dependent, open to abuse, and unable to manage their lives upon release. Indeed, young women in Nepal receive virtually no preparation for their release.
PA Nepal seeks to support such women in many of the prisons of Nepal. However, the scale of their need means that PA Nepal can only afford to assist the most vulnerable women such as the pregnant, elderly or ill. In addition to providing basic necessities such as cleaning products, clothing, bedding, and fresh fruit to these women, PA Nepal’s main role is the Prison Welfare Support Program. This involves the following projects:
- Educational Programs: PA Nepal has aimed to increase literacy and as such employability through a series of training programs in female prisons.
- Skills-Development Programs: PA Nepal has set up a bee-keeping program in Nakhu Jail and a sewing school in Jhapa Jail to help female prisoners develop skills and thereby break the cycle of poverty and abuse.
- Health Education: Women in prison have an increased risk of contracting Hepatitis, HIV and Tuberculosis. As such, PA Nepal is involved in health awareness training so that such women can care for their own health, and that of their family.
Men's Prisoner Programs
While PA Nepal works predominantly with women (because of their increased vulnerability and strong link to their children) it is not exclusively a women’s organization, and also recognises the importance of working within the male prisons. PA Nepal currently works in Nakhu Jail and the central male jail and in particular has been focusing on increasing the amount of health and skills trainings training sessions within male prisons
Mental Health Prisoner Programs
Young women in prison face serious challenges in adapting to their new world. Receiving proper emotional support during this time is critical to ensure that these women can cope with the stresses they face. Whilst prisoners commonly face difficulties such as anxiety and depression, a further group has to deal with severe psychiatric illnesses whilst living in these conditions. The recognition and treatment of severe mental illness is still in its infancy in Nepal. Despite these being a number of prisoners with severe psychiatric disorders such as psychosis in prisons across Nepal, only Dulikhel Jail has facilities for treating these individuals.
In response to this need, PA Nepal has endeavoured to support the mentally ill in prison since its inception. Where possible, PA Nepal employs social workers within prisons to provide psychosocial support and counselling. From a practical perspective, PA Nepal seeks to assist with the provision on medication and basic needs. Finally, PA Nepal continues to assist with advocacy for these individuals and education campaigns in the community which aim to draw attention to the disproportionate number of Nepalese with mental illnesses that are imprisoned.