PRISONS
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 2016

This project aims to document the reality within the juvenile prisons in the Eastern Congo. The Democratic Republic of Congo’s population is one of the youngest in the world: the median age is 18 years. This is a story shot inside the premises of the juvenile detention center in Goma, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Conditions in most prisons throughout the country are harsh and life threatening due to food shortages, gross overcrowding, and inadequate sanitary conditions and medical care. 

The vast majority of underage inmates in the DRC’s overcrowded prisons are pre-trial detainees. As very little Government funding is allocated for food and other basic needs, starvation is common, with an average occupation rate of 150 percent of capacity. Juveniles prisons are not very common as normally youngster are kept with the adults, however the facility I got access to is a different case. 

A UN report says that officials once released a number of pretrial detainees from Goma Prison after a review found they had been in detention longer than the potential maximum sentences if convicted.