‘Prisoners are citizens too’ :President Mahama to visit inmates

President John Mahama has received a copy of the Joy News documentary with a surprise announcement that he is ready to tour Ghana’s prisons following a shocking tale of squalor and deprivation.

In a further escalation of attention after the Chief Justice Georgina Wood watched the documentary, the President at a Prison Service Council meeting Wednesday said prisoners are citizens too and deserve to be treated humanely.

“I would want to see conditions first hand….I have never visited the prison before but I have heard a lot about the conditions there”, he said.

Although the United Nations has reported on Ghana’s poor state of prisons, it has had to take a documentary to move Ghanaian authorities into swift and unprecedented action.

Joy News’ Seth Kwame Boateng who filmed the documentary titled ‘Lock and Forgotten’ has triggered national light on the plight of remand prisoners.

Some have been in prison for seven years without trial. A remand prisoner died days after featuring in the documentary. A provoked Chief Justice has shaken up the justice system after she directed on-the-spot review of cases in Nsawam and other prisons.

Chairman of the Justice for All Program, Justice Clemence Honyenuga

Judges swing into action after watching Joy News’ documentary “Locked and Forgotten” – See more at: http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2015/March-15th/judges-swing-into-action-after-watching-joy-news-documentary-locked-and-forgotten.php#sthash.zX2xZlfv.dpuf

23 remand prisoners in Nsawam in the Eastern region have since been released. The Prison Service has described the results of the documentary as a big relief .

Weighing on the plight of prisoners, President John Mahama congratulated the Chief Justice for taking action. He believes his visit will “motivate” him to do more to improve the conditions in Ghana’s prisons.

“I believe the time has come to expand the facilities and also create new remand prisons where people who have not been convicted are not necessarily mixed up with convicted people because when you do that sometimes you lead them to a life of crime by association.”

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