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Désiré Razafintsalama: “The Modernization of Madagascar’s Prison Administration Is Underway”
As part of a project to support the justice system in Madagascar, a delegation of five staff members from the Malagasy National Prison Administration Training School (École Nationale d’Administration Pénitentiaire – ENAP) visited the French ENAP from May 21-24.
Désiré Razafintsalama, Director of the Malagasy ENAP, explains the framework and benefit behind this visit.
What is the main challenge facing Madagascar’s prison administration?

The existing prison facilities in Madagascar were built during the colonial era. They are now dilapidated and overcrowded. Security in these prisons is low, detention conditions are often inhumane, and the reintegration of prisoners is ineffective...

These failings are further aggravated by a lack of security equipment, staff shortages and a deficit of in-service training for staff members. 

The major challenge is overcoming these problems in order to ensure humane detention conditions in every prison, maintain prison security and improve inmates’ preparation for social and professional reintegration.

What have you learned from your interaction with the French ENAP?

Through our interaction with the French ENAP during our May 2019 visit, we were able to discuss several experiences and good practices. The French ENAP, the only school in France in charge of the initial and in-service training of prison staff, is continuously evolving in terms of its educational methods, structure, organization, infrastructure, logistics and equipment.

Visit by the Malagasy delegation to French ENAP in May 2019 © AFD


It is a vocational training institution where teaching is focused on theoretical learning and, above all, practical experience in the students’ future professions. After graduating from the school, the students work in prisons as trainees, but are no longer novices, thanks to several practical internships.

What are the main reforms being considered?

As the director of the ENAP in Madagascar, I would like to affirm that the Malagasy ENAP has its own vision, objectives and perspectives. That vision is to create a training institution for all Malagasy prison staff in order to truly professionalize the prison administration. This modernization is underway...

Our goal is to train high-achieving, trustworthy students who, upon graduating, can meet administration requirements immediately and effectively. 

Various steps will be taken to accomplish this goal: improvements to infrastructures and training equipment, training modules established for each type of occupation in the administration and a full-time educational team, efforts to fight corruption in the competitive entry exam, and a dynamic partnership policy with other prison administration schools in Africa, as well as with national and international organizations.