Testimonial

Central African Republic: a woman and a prison director

Gisèle1 is a prison director. Having studied IT, she sat the entrance exam at the École nationale d’administration et de magistrature (a national school of administration and magistracy) before becoming a prison director2 in 2008. For a year she took a theoretical course that tackled psychology, agriculture, human rights, the penal code and even the politics of societal reintegration. She also undertook a work placement for 8 months in a new prison in Kaga-Bandoro, a town in the central north region of the country. She finished her work placement in a centre for women in Bangui, the capital.

Training, life in prison, lack of staff and budget, security, armed conflicts: Gisèle explains, based on her own experience, how incarceration is managed in a country where resources are scarce, and demands are abundant.

Prison Insider intends to give everyone a voice, make the complexity of situations known and uncompromisingly report on dysfunctions and efforts where they exist.


  1. the term ‘prison director’ refers to the authorities in charge of prisons or those in management positions.

  2. her first name has been changed. 

Families bring meals to their imprisoned loved ones, but inmates.

"I handled first aid, using the knowledge I had learnt during my training."

In the Central African Republic, there has been small progress despite the unstable security situation. Many prison renovation projects have been started but haven’t come to much.

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