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United Republic of Tanzania  
  • Mwl. Julius K. Nyerere
  • Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume
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Home Government Defence and SecurityTanzania Prisons Service

The Tanzania Prisons Service (TPS) was officially established as a fully-fledged Government Department on 25th August, 1931. Prior to that date, the Service was administered under the Police Force. This change did not result in much improvement of prisons conditions as the emphasis remained on safe custody. The incarceration of inmates in maximum security institutions built in major towns and district centers, hard labour and racial segregation in their treatment was a significant feature of the prisons reality. This prisons policy was reflective of its philosophical basis of retribution and incapacitation that prevailed all though the German colonial era ending 1919 and the British protectorate era ending with independence in 1961.

After independence a new prisons policy was adopted embracing humane treatment of offenders and justice as its core value. The objective was rehabilitation of offenders as a contribution to community safety. In practice, this philosophical shift was manifested by :-

Introduction of a new legislation, the Prisons Act, 1967 which embodies the spirit of international basic human rights instruments; Establishment of several Open farm Prisons in the rural areas which were designated to be centers of excellence for imparting agricultural skills to inmates and to extend such services to surrounding communities ; Establishment of Vocational Training Centers in Mbeya and Morogoro regions for skills-training to inmates. These were linked to the National Vocational Education and Training Authority so that certification of graduates is universally recognized ; expansion of economic projects inside the inherited closed prisons for skills-training for long term prisoners; establishment of educational programmes of different levels in prisons including adult basic education, general academic subjects and primary school education for school drop-outs at the Young Offenders' Prison and adoption of a new training curriculum for prisons staff in line with the new approach whereby observance of human rights was emphasized.

With these new developments, prisons condition began to pick up a more humane face and the image of the TPS was very much enhanced both within and outside the country as of the early 1970s.Today the TPS consists of 122 institutions, 21 regional offices, two staff training centers, four Vocational Training Facilities and Head Office. The regional offices provide administrative oversight, while the head office effect management and administration of all prison stations countrywide.

The service protects public safety by ensuring that all convicts serve their sentences of imprisonment in facilities that are humane, cost-efficient and appropriately secure. The service helps reduce the potential for future criminal activity by encouraging convicts to participate in a range of programmes that have been proven to reduce recidivism.For more information visit TPS website:

SNo Tanzania Prisons Service Files / URL
1 Prisons in Tanzania Mainland and their Locations 291.6 KB
2 TPS Telephone Contacts 302.4 KB
3 Client Service Charter 3.2 MB
Care and Rehabilitation Programs Foreign Relations
Prisons Life Vision & Mission
Responsibilities & Mandate of the TPS Organization Structure of the Tanzania Prisons Service
Source: Government Portal Content Committee, Last Reviewed on : 2015-10-13 06:00:00
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