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'Our prisons inhumane' - Bawumia

July 12, 2017, 9:20 a.m.

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has charged the newly-inaugurated 13-member Prisons Council to ensure the implementation of prison reforms to change the inhumane nature of Ghana’s prisons.

“Our facilities are inhumane, over-populated and crowded with the attendant threat of outbreaks of diseases, negative survival behaviours and human rights abuses,” complained Dr Bawumia who swore in the new council members on Tuesday, July 11.

He emphasised that: “It is my hope that under this council and the support of government, you shall work hard to earn the record of being the ones to write these wrongs in our facilities”.

Dr Bawumia added that it is the desire of government to introduce non-custodial sentences to deal with decongestion and human rights abuses in the prisons as well as the “associated ills that we are currently experiencing in the prisons.”

Dr Bawumia noted that the skills and competencies of the council members should be applied to direct policy and implement systems that will improve the country’s prisons.

He further charged the council to put in measures to ease congestion at the prisons and additionally demanded an end to human rights abuses in the country’s correctional facilities.

Her said all over the world, the philosophy of prisons has changed from punishing offenders to rehabilitating and reintegrating them back into society to “play the roles we all expect them to play.”

Most Rev Peter Paul Yelezuome is the Chairman of the council. Other members of the 7th Prisons Service Council include:

1. Ambrose Dery, Ministry of Interior
2. Patrick Darko Missah (DGP), Ghana Prisons Service
3. Dr Frank Ankobea, Ghana Medical Association
4. Kwasi Amoako Adjei, Ghana Bar Association
5. Yvonne Akakora Obuobia, Minister of Justice & Attorney General Department
6. Benjamin Akonu Otoo, Department of Social Welfare
7. Rev Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, Christian Council of Ghana
8. Samuel Akampare Akolbire, Senior Officers Rep.
9. Dorcas Bonnah , Subordinate Officers Rep.
10. Buipe –wara Mahama Abdulai Jinapor II, National House of Chiefs
11. Sarah M. Adetola, President’s Nominee
12. Matilda Baffour-Awuah, President’s Nominee