15,000 Prisoners In 43 Prisons

APPROXIMATELY 15,000 people, including males and females, are currently languishing in the 43 prisons in the country, serving various prison terms for crimes they have committed.

Director General of the Prisons Service Matilda Baffuor Awuah, who made the disclosure, bemoaned the fact that most of the prisoners are not being well trained to become productive people after serving their sentences.

She pointed out that most of the prison facilities in the country were constructed during the colonial days, adding that therefore they lack modern amenities which would have been used to train the prisoners.

Madam Baffuor Awuah lamented that the Ghana Prisons Service’s core duty of rehabilitating, reforming and resettling inmates is hampered by lack of training facilities.

She was speaking during the official inauguration ceremony of the Kumasi Female Prisons Tailoring Department which was built and furnished with tools at the cost of GH¢32,000 by Unique Royal Club, a social group in Kumasi.

Ms Baffuor Awuah disclosed that the Ghana Prisons Service has rolled out several programmes, notably the ‘Afiase Project’, which are aimed at partnering the public/private sector to improve conditions in the various prisons in the country.

She stressed on the need for the prisons in the country to be equipped with the needed materials so that inmates could be properly trained whilst serving their sentences so that they would not become a nuisance to society after their jail terms.

Ms Baffuor Awuah noted that plans are far advanced to introduce school feeding programme at the prisons so as to woo more prisoners to study, adding that prisoners could now access education from the JHS to the adult education level whilst serving their jail terms.

ADP Joana Fofo Tackie-Otoo, Officer-in-Charge, Kumasi Female Prisons, charged society to wholeheartedly welcome ex-convicts who have duly finished serving their sentences so that they could also play roles to transform Ghana.

The Asekyehene, Nana Mensah Bonsu, who was the chairman of the occasion, implored the public to support the Prisons Service to train prisoners so as to help reduce crime in the country.

George Kumi, Chairman of Unique Royal Club, said his group responded positively to an appeal from the Kumasi Female Prisons to build the tailoring workshop ‘because we want the inmates to be trained in a handicraft so that they would become useful to society later on.’

FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi

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