In pursuit of this, the service trained most of its staff in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) last year for the upcoming computerisation of the service, the acting Director General of the Ghana Prisons Service, Mr Kofi Bansah, said at the end-of-year party organised by the Greater Accra Regional branch of the service.
He announced that the service would this year recruit 1,500 people to support the dwindling staff situation, adding that proposals for the recruitment had been developed to that effect.
He said the service would build the capacity of its manpower and train them to deliver professionally.
“In line with the directorate’s vision to enhance the professionalism of staff, 458 subordinate officers undertook career refresher courses at the Prisons Officers Training School last year,” Mr Bansah said.
“The exercise was done to sharpen their competencies and skills towards professional delivery on the job,” he said.
He said the service witnessed unpleasant events in the course of the year, which derailed its peace and serenity.
The jail breaks which occurred in some of our prisons and the demonstration embarked upon by some officers were vivid examples that dented the services hard won reputation and image over the period,” he said.
Mr Bansah said the service continued to grapple with a number of challenges that militated against its smooth and effective administration.
Notable among them, he said, were inadequate budgetary allocation, poor conditions of service, inadequate office and residential accommodation for staff, overcrowding in the prisons, inadequate logistics and dilapidated structures housing hardened criminals.
He said in the face of the challenges, the service remained undaunted but continued to execute “our mandate as custodians and reformers of criminals and social deviants as our quota towards the maintenance of internal security”.
Mr Bansah said hard work, discipline and vigilance should be values prison officers must cherish.
He said it was disturbing that a few officers had failed to recognise the roles expected of them and were indulging in unprofessional activities.
“We need to bear in mind that indiscipline and disorderliness will produce a dysfunctional service which will not earn us any respect and recognition from the public. Let me entreat all officers that the collective effort of all of us, coupled with good conduct and deeds, will raise the service to another pedestal that could bring honour and reward to us,” he said.
On the decongestion of the prisons, Mr Bansah said the Prisons Service, working in collaboration with other criminal justice agencies, continued to work diligently towards the success of the Justice for All programme aimed at ensuring that a substantial number of remand cases were disposed of.
He said since the inception of the programme in 2007, 238 cases had been dealt with.
Source: Daily Graphic