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Call for Proposals to implement a pilot paralegal scheme at the Juba Central Prison from a legal firm that offer pro bono services, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), including NGOs for small grants in Central Equatoria State.
Procurement Process :CP-QB-FBS - Call for Proposal – Quality Based Fixed Budget
Office :South Sudan CO - SOUTH SUDAN
Deadline :02-Feb-24
Posted on :24-Jan-24
Development Area :OTHER  OTHER
Reference Number :98157
Link to Atlas Project :
00127551 - Support to Access to Justice, Security and Human Rights
Documents :
Call for Proposals to implement a pilot paralegal scheme at the Juba Central Prison from a legal firm, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), including NGOs for small grants in Central Equatoria State
Overview :

I.                BACKGROUND


The challenge of congestion in prisons world over has been greatly identified with the prolonged legal processes leading to increased number of remands remaining in custody for a long period of time. This not only brings financial pressure to the management of prisons but also promotes violation of human rights of the pre- trial detainees on the grounds of prolonged detention. The ripple effects of the later range from loss of means of livelihood, social connections, property, deterioration in health to mention but a few. Most of the pre- trial detainees remain in custody with minor cases entitled to free or reasonable bonds, affordable bail by the detainees and sureties to conduct their cases as they continue to be productive members of the community. The inadequate capacity to self-representation affects their ability to claim their entitlements and mitigation before the courts. In addition, the limited awareness of their constitutional rights to bail, bond, appeals and review of sentences exposes them to unnecessary confinement during and after the litigation process.

The Director General of National Prison Service of South Sudan highlighted the challenge of increasing number of long sentences, life and condemned prisoners in the prison. The nature of their sentences denies them eligibility to join the current rehabilitation programmes including the vocational training Centre. This renders them idle, increasing their susceptibility to engage in illegal and violence activities in the prison. The prison based legal aid programme, therefore hopes to address this gap while providing an opportunity for the inmates to boost confidence, address their legal challenges and find meaning in supporting their colleagues. 

Despite the initiatives by state and non-state actors to promote legal aid, the demand for legal aid services is still overwhelming in the prisons. This has stretched the capacities of relevant bodies and stakeholders involved in the provision of legal aid to their limits. The prison-based paralegals will be instrumental in bridging the gap by complementing the work done by legal aid providers and promoting the use of alternatives to court adjudication.

As a result, a pilot paralegal scheme was developed after extensive consultative discussions with the leadership of the prisons service, key stakeholders in the criminal justice system and the Juba University Law School. The scheme is a road map for the establishment and operationalization of the paralegal programme based on the best practices and lessons learnt across Africa. 

It is in this regard that UNDP through the Access to Justice and Rule of Law Strengthening program with funding from the Kingdom of the Netherlands seek the services of a competent and reputable registered legal firm, Civil Society Organization or National Non- Governmental Organization with an existing relationship with the National Prisons Service of South Sudan to establish and operationalise the pilot paralegal scheme at the Juba Central Prison. The successful entity will be tasked to build the capacity of selected inmates, prison officers in Juba Central Prison and selected police officers within the stations in Juba, to provide legal aid for the inmates in the Prison and accused persons in police stations to tackle the challenge of prolonged and arbitrary detention for a duration of six months. They will also be expected to strengthen the file tracing process as well as the referral pathway for the inmates in need of legal representation in coordination with the Legal Aid Department and other relevant stakeholders. 



The main objective of the grant is to identify national organizations in legal practice – whether law firms, civil society organizations (CSO), national non-governmental organizations (NNGO) or community-based organizations (CBO) – with operational presence and capacity in Juba. They need to have an existing established relationship with the prisons service.


  1. Operationalize and Implement a client-sensitive legal clinic at Juba Central Prison, focusing on paralegal legal aid services for a period of 6 months.
  2. Provide comprehensive legal advice and representation in civil and criminal cases, as well as administrative matters, with a special emphasis on vulnerable groups, including women, girls, individuals with HIV/AIDS, survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), the elderly, and internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees.
  3. Conduct awareness sessions to sensitize inmates on the criminal litigation process, emphasizing their human and constitutional rights, and empowering them to actively participate in and understand the trial process.
  4. Provide legal aid awareness sessions for newly admitted inmates, offering information on general prison procedures, rules, regulations, discipline, obligations, and rights.
  5. Offer psychosocial support services to inmates, particularly those in distress, including the newly convicted, individuals suffering from post-traumatic experiences, and those who have experienced bereavement while in prison.
  6. Identify cases requiring legal representation and assign advocates to represent inmates in legal proceedings, ensuring that their rights are protected throughout the legal process.
  7. Provide continuous paralegal training to the recruited paralegals at Juba Central prison to enhance their capacity in providing legal aid services within the prison environment, ensuring sustainability beyond the grant period.
  8. Integrate human rights education within the legal clinic, fostering a culture of awareness and understanding among inmates about their entitlements to a fair and free trial.
  9. Strengthen existing relationships with national organizations involved in legal practice, including law firms, civil society organizations (CSOs), national non-governmental organizations (NNGOs), or community-based organizations (CBOs), with an operational presence and capacity in Juba.
  10. Implement a robust monitoring system to assess the effectiveness of the legal clinic, track the outcomes of legal aid services, and identify areas for improvement.





The organizations are encouraged to develop their own expected results based on their respective assessment of needs, issues, and challenges of vulnerable groups during the period of implementation. Expected results will include the following:

Expected Outputs

  • Provide legal aid services to a diverse group of at least 2000 prisoners, including women, men, children, individuals with HIV/AIDS, refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), the elderly, and returnees, within the 6-month period.
  • Release Achievements:

Achieve a 20% release rate among the prisoners served, facilitating their successful legal processes leading to release.

  • Legal Awareness Sessions:

Conduct a total of 12 legal awareness sessions over the 6-month period, averaging at least 2 sessions per month, to educate 2,000 prisoners on their legal rights and processes.

  • Inmate Demographic Focus:

Ensure that at least 20% population of female prisoners, 20%of the male prisoners, 20%  of the children in prison, and 20% of prisoners from vulnerable groups (including people with HIV/AIDS, IDPs, and returnees) receive legal awareness, totaling at least 2000 inmates.

  • Court File Management:

Successfully trace and regularly update at least 50% of the court files for the 2000 inmates served, ensuring accurate and up-to-date legal records.

  • Case Database Development:

Establish a comprehensive database documenting cases supported, the nature of support provided, and the outcomes/results of the legal actions undertaken.

  • Identification of Vulnerable Groups:

Identify vulnerable groups and assess their legal needs, aiming to secure early release on bail or bond, provide legal representation, and monitor legal procedures through regular (twice a week) visitation to police and prison detention facilities in Juba.

  • Reduction in Prison Population:

Reduce the number of remand and convicted inmates by 10% and 5%, respectively, in Juba Central Prison through the application of bonds, bails, acquittals, and successful appeals.

  • Referral System and Partnerships:

Refer 10% of the existing cases to advocates and civil society organizations (CSOs) promoting human rights through established partnerships and volunteer networks.

  • Paralegal Training:

Conduct six refresher training sessions covering various legal aid topics for the recruited and trained paralegals, enhancing their capacity to provide effective legal assistance.

  • Legal Aid Clinic Establishment:

Develop a well-equipped legal aid clinic within Juba Central Prison to support regular legal advice, training sessions, and workshops for inmates.