Innovative and creative was the approach an organization called Advocaid used to help educate people about their legal rights in Sierra Leone recently.
They did it by dramatizing issues through a series on local television .
Now, the series called Police Case has been nominated for an Innovating Justice award.
I worked on a story about the series with a local journalist I was training right before it went to air.
On a Saturday afternoon we headed to a local police station to interview production staff of Concept Multimedia. This is the company that shot end edited the series , which centres around a character named Adama, facing a charge of domestic violence. She is arrested and thrown in jail without access to a lawyer.
When the journalist and I arrive the actress, Whitsunnette Wright playing Adama is rehearsing a scene where she sits in a cell venting to other women prisoners about the unfair way police treated her.
The reality of this situation is far too common according to a paralegal who works at Advocaid who we also speak to.
The organization works to help women integrate back into society and has even helped her.
The paralegal prefers to not be identified as it could affect her job at Advocaid. But does add that there is a great need for such a series because so many people, especially women, are violated of their rights when arrested.
In fact, in the past year, Advocaid has helped more than 400 women in Sierra Leone who were denied their legal rights in some way.
She says the most common problem is that women are not informed of the reason for their arrest.
Which was why there was such an urgent need for the series to air.
She is also quick to point out though that Police Case is not meant to shed a negative light on police but rather to educate people about their legal rights.
The winner of the award is set to be announced this November.