One Day Freedom – Brian Serr


“One Day Freedom” – this is the simple phrase that UPZambia employs to convey a sense of hope to their teenaged clients. Inevitable delays in the Zambian justice system – due in large part to insufficient funding of an insufficient number of courts staffed by an insufficient number of legally trained judges – make it difficult to predict with any degree of precision when detained children will...

Innocent and Evans – Ashley Richardson


During my first week working for UP Zambia, I was handed a case file that entailed the account of two young men, Innocent and Evans, who had been falsely imprisoned for a crime they did not commit. At the time I was handed the case, Innocent and Evans had been sitting in prison for roughly two years and five months. Upon reading their case file, I was overwhelmed with emotions of confusion...

A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words – Ashley Shultz


Under Chapter 87, The Penal Code Act of The Laws of Zambia, it is a crime to take photos or videos of government buildings. That means that myself and the other Baylor law interns cannot take photographs of any court, correctional or remand facility. One of us has tried. When caught taking a photo of the exterior of the Subordinate Court, the intern received a stern talking to. He then made the...

Heinous Crimes Procedure – Fallon Seitz


I met two teenagers on remand. They were charged jointly along with two other adults for aggravated robbery. The four allegedly broke a window and stole $400 of alcohol. All four pled not guilty. The teenagers had recently found out the adults received sentences of 15 years, which is not the type of news you would want to hear after two years in an overcrowded prison. And by overcrowded, I mean...

Shared Humanity – Sarah Beth Toben


Today, Claire Mosley and I spoke to juveniles in the holding cell before court. Aaron, one of the UP Zambia interns aided us in interviewing the juveniles in their native language of Nyanja. As we interviewed the juveniles it truly became apparent to me that these are just teens who in a split second made one bad decision. We have all made bad decisions, especially as children and teenagers...

Parent Tracing 101 – Claire Mosley


A big part of the juvenile justice system here in Zambia requires the presence of the juvenile’s parents and/or legal guardian. When a juvenile’s case is called one of the first things the judge asks is whether the parent or legal guardian is present. With no parent or guardian present when called, there is no possibility of bail for the child or for the proceedings to commence. So, the juvenile...

Emmanuel – Robyn Leatherwood


Most of my mornings are spent in court observing juvenile cases. Occasionally, we go to the holding cells before court to interview new juveniles. That is how the past Thursday began: We got to the holding cells and began seeing the kids. The first juvenile we interviewed was Emmanuel. He was wearing a thin shirt that was full of holes, basketball shorts, and flip-flops. Shivering as we...

My First Week in Zambia – Ashley K. Richardson


“Nikukonda mazanga wanga.” Arriving in Zambia, I had no idea how meaningful this phrase would be to me. Simply translated, it means  “I love you my friend” in Nyanja. As we have been immersed in love and welcomed with open arms, I am constantly reminded of how blessed we are to be a part of the UP Zambia team. This phrase was one of the first that Mainza, Mpaso and...

Undikumbukire – An Introduction From Brian Serr


“Undikumbukire.” I frequently remind my students that one word can make a difference. For Sara Larios, an American lawyer practicing commercial law in Zambia, it was hearing that one word — “Undikumbukire” – that made all the difference. It made a difference in the direction of Sara’s life and legal career. It made a difference in the quality of justice obtained in Zambian criminal courts...

About This Blog

Information from Professor Brian Serr and his students supporting the mission of Undikumbukire Project Zambia.

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