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President assures Prison Service of increase in budget allocation

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President John Mahama
President John Mahama

President John Mahama has pledge to increase resource allocation in the next budget cycle for Ghana Prisons Service to help increase the procurement of vehicles, logistics, communications equipment and accommodation for effective service delivery.

President Mahama said he has discussed with the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training under the Ministry of Education to include prisoners in skills development programmes.

This he said would improve the skills and capacity of the inmates raises their income generating capacities through the provision of quality-oriented service and ensures sustainable sources of funding.

President Mahama said this in Accra when he launched the Ghana Prisons Service 10- year strategic development plan and a project christened “EFIASE”.

The project sought to raise funds through the help of civil society, faith based organisations, companies and diplomatic community to support government’s efforts to improve conditions in the prisons across the country.

President Mahama said the service has a great potential and lauded its creative works, adding government would support the personnel to improve service delivery.

He said the colonial philosophy of incarcerating people was to punish offenders but now the attention is focus on reformation, hence the need to improve their condition of service to meet international standards.

“As politicians, we need to advise ourselves to refurbish the prisons because we don’t know when we will end up there. For me and my ministers and government officials, it is a sound advice to renovate the place so that in future if you are there the conditions will be much better,” he added.

He said budget constraints have made it difficult to improve the condition of the service but government would not relent in its effort to improve and expand the service.

 

“We need innovative thinking and partnership between public and private sector to work together to improve the welfare and conditions of both the Prison officers and the prisoners”.

The President commended the Chief Justice for instituting the “Justice for all programme”, which has help de-congest the service and urged all and sundry to accept prisoners into the society since they “are our brothers and sisters”.

Reverend Dr Stephen Wengam, Chairman of the Prisons Service Council explained that the strategic plan is to reposition the service to perform its functions in an efficient and effective manner.

He said the service has abundant labour, fertile land suitable for commercial agriculture and extensive land space for the establishment modern industries and the council would do everything within its power to get the prisons back on track with the support of all.

Mrs Matilda Baffour-Awuah, Director General of Ghana Prisons Service said the body population now stands at 14,224, made up of 11,386 convicts and 2,225 remand prisoners.

Mrs Baffour-Awuah said the service has become anachronistic because for the past years, the administration has shifted from warehousing prisoners to reformation and rehabilitation.

She said the country’s prisons face challenges such as overcrowding, poor infrastructure and inadequate funding and that there is the need to improve structures and the provision of training facilities.

Source: GNA

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