In 2007 the Rwandan government was introduced to the Criminon Program to help rehabilitate the thousands of imprisoned participants in the Rwandan genocide about to be released, unreformed, back into society. Today Criminon is in use in all 14 of the country’s prisons.
The Rwandan 1994 genocide where more than one million people were killed is one of Africa’s worst human tragedies. When it was over, more than 100.000 people were imprisoned for participation in the killing. Over the last several years, these men and women were having to be released but were unreformed creating the potential for further social problems.
Criminon was introduced to the country by a Rwandan national who had trailed to South Africa and seen the results of Criminon in a maximum security prison. He put Criminon in communication with the Minister of Internal Security in Rwanda, and in 2007 the government to deliver the Criminon Program in the Kigali prison. By the end of 2007, 200 inmates had gone through the program.
The initial results were deemed so successful that the program was expanded into ﬁ ve more prisons. Within months Criminon staﬀ had delivered courses to 3.300 inmates. Again the success of the program led to further expansion and by 2009. Criminon was operating in all of the Rwandan prisons and had rehabilitated more than 10.000 inmates.
Criminon Program graduates have a new social outlook on life which is reﬂected in the changes occurring in the prisons.
The Director of the Kigali Jail reported a noticeable improvement in the social relations and hygiene of the inmates.
The Director of the Gitarama jail stated that the rate of punishment given to the inmates was reduced by 50 percent. He also reported that 80 percent of the inmates who did the Criminon Program had admitted to their crimes.
Throughout all of the prisons, directors and inmates alike have reported on the improved cleanliness of the prisons, a decrease in discipline problems and a notable improvement in the way inmates get along with each other and with the prison staﬀ.
The change is directly the result of the Criminon Program which is restoring to these men and women their self-respect and a future.