The major function of the regional hub is to house the Justice and Security Joint Program (JSJP). The JSJP was designed as a three year program between the Government of Liberia (GoL) and the international community, based on the Liberia Peacebuilding Program (LPP) which was developed by and amongst the GoL, the United Nations and national and international partners in May 2011.
The purpose of the JSJP is to prepare Liberia for UNMIL transition by providing a decentralized and holistic approach to enhancing access to justice and security at the regional and county levels. The JSJP concept demarcates Liberia into 5 regions and is working to construct five regional hubs to increase service delivery and strengthen justice and security agencies by improving their human capacity to provide effective service.
The first Justice and Security Regional Hub is located in Gbarnga, Bong County and serves Bong, Lofa and Nimba counties. It was inaugurated in February, 2013 and is providing 11 out of 15 of the expected services whilst undergoing construction.
In Hub 1, Liberia National Police or Police Support Unit and Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization or Border Patrol Unit are deployed to respond to criminal activities, public disorder and to provide confidence and surveillance patrols.
Hubs 2 and 3
Hub 2 covers Grand Gedeh and Sinoe counties and Hub 3 covers Maryland, River Gee and Grand Kru counties. The Justice and Security Policy Management Board changed the strategy as a result of lessons learned from the delayed construction of the Gbarnga Regional Hub. The Board decided to use a phased approach by rolling out services first and implementing construction while the services are being delivered. The decision was precipitated by the dire need for justice and security services in rural counties especially southeastern Liberia.
Hubs 4 and 5
Hub 4 covers Gbarpolu, Bomi, and Grand Cape Mount counties and Hub 5 covers Margibi, Grand Bassa and Rivercess Counties. The same approach utilized at Hubs 2 and 3 is being applied at these hubs, i.e. rolling out services first and implementing construction while the services are being delivered.
Officers at the Hubs
- Prosecutors and Public Defenders are deployed to provide legal services to rural residents.
- Human Rights officers are deployed to ensure that human rights are respected by criminal justice actors.
- Prison Officers secure prisons
- Probation Officers ensure community services by offenders.
- Victim Support and Case Liaison Officers are deployed through the Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) Unit to provide psycho-social and legal support to SGBV survivors and ensure trial of perpetrators.
- Public Outreach Officers provide public information about the hub’s services and refer citizens’ complaints to justice and security agencies against criminal justice actors who ethically transgress.