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Fact Check: No, all 16 Prison Facilities Across Liberia are Not Locked Down Due to Food Shortage

Monrovia – Popular social media blogger Benita Whitney Urey claimed on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, that all 16 prisons facilities across Liberia were on lockdown and were not receiving new inmates or detainees due to food shortage that has hit the country’s correction system.

But when we checked, we found that only two major prison facilities were on a locked down and not all 16 as was being claimed by Ms. Urey.

In her Facebook post, Ms. Urey attempted to inform the public about the gravity of food shortage that recently strained prison facilities —  putting inmates in dire need of food.

However, when LocalVoicesLiberia Fact Checking Desk contacted Mr. Samuel Godo, the Deputy Director of Prisons at the Ministry of Justice, he said only two prisons in the country were hit very hard by the food shortage; thereby forcing them to close their doors to new detainees.

“We had a situation of food shortage in two major prisons – the Monrovia Central Prison [in Montserrado County] and the Gbarnga Prison [in Bong County] but the situation has been resolved,” said Mr. Godo. “Other counties were having problems but not like Monrovia and Gbarnga, so they were not on locked down as being rumored or speculated.”

LVL further fact checked by contacting the heads of prison in Voinjama and Buchanan cities. Moses Saah, superintendent of the Voinjama Correctional & Rehabilitation Center, said that the prison’s doors are still opened to new detainees or inmates and that the rumor was “untrue”.

In Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, the prison is still opened to receiving new inmates and have not locked down as being claimed on social media. A tour of the facility by LVL mobile fact checker in Buchanan found that the facility is still accepting new prisoners.


Considering that the doors of prison facilities in other counties are still open to new inmates or detainees unlike the two major facilities in Montserrado and Bong Counties due to food shortage, we conclude that the claim made by Ms. Urey that all 16 major prison facilities across the country are on locked down due to food shortage is an exaggeration of the situation.

All 16 prisons in Liberia are on lockdown due to lack of food. They’re not accepting any new prisoners as a result of the food shortage.
Incorrect. Exaggeration of the situation

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Local Voices Liberia is a network of dedicated Liberian journalists based in the 15 counties working to lift the development concerns and progress of rural communities.

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