ABA ROLI has operated intermittently in Liberia since 2006. Our earlier programs have encompassed the establishment of a legal aid center, the founding of a support clinic for victims of gender-based violence, and the creation of scholarships for law students practicing public service law. ABA ROLI restarted operations in Liberia in 2018, with a program providing direct support to the Liberian justice sector, funded by the State Department’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. This ongoing program works to strengthen accountability within the Liberian justice system and increase public confidence and trust in its institutions. Working in partnership with the Office of the Public Defender and key figures within the Ministry of Justice, including the Chief Justice and the Court Administrator, the program advances efforts to implement plea bargaining practices and improve record-keeping and processing times to ensure charges are filed and arbitrated in a timely manner, and to reduce rates of pre-trial incarceration. In the long term, the program will contribute to strengthening the rule of law by increasing the transparency, consistency, and accountability of court operations.
In 2019, the ABA ROLI launched the Strengthening Corrections Institutions in Liberia project that builds on ABA ROLI's presence in Liberia and its current work supporting criminal justice actors in Liberia. The project aims to improve the operational capacity and efficiency of the Liberian Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation (BCR) so that corrections institutions demonstrate improved adherence to standardized procedures, best practices, and human rights in the operation of corrections facilities. The project focuses on putting in place a functional, streamlined, and up to date case file system that results in clear, usable, and accurate data on correction facilities' population and their status. ABA ROLI further supports BCR in revising and upgrading its standard operating procedures and providing training and technical advice to BCR personnel.