Oluwafunke Adeoye, founder of Hope Behind Bars Africa and a Nigerian Human Rights lawyer, has been announced as one of the winners of the 2023 Waislitz Global Citizens Choice Award for her outstanding performance in the Criminal Justice sector.
Adeoye who founded Hope Behind Bars five years ago, made history as the first person working in the criminal justice sector to win the global award, which comes with a 75,000 dollars prize.
Her organisation provides free legal services and direct support to indigent incarcerated individuals, while also promoting criminal justice reforms through research, evidence-based advocacy and technology products.
According to her, personal experiences she encountered with the justice system inspired her to found the organisation in 2018.
Adeoye said her father was once a victim of being arrested and detained for a crime he did not commit several years ago.
Hope Behind Bars Africa has supported no fewer than 7,000 incarcerated individuals through their numerous interventions, ranging from providing access to justice, welfare, support and rehabilitation and reformation of ex-inmates.
Adeoye noted that the organisation designed a tech platform known as “Justicepadi” which she said it hopes to revolutionize legal aid in West Africa and expand its work for justice-seeking individuals.
The Waislitz Global Citizens Choice Awards recognises and celebrates individuals with excellent performance in their work to end extreme poverty and lead positive change in their communities and around the world.