104 Prisoners On Death Row Packed Into A Hole
Mr Kofi Bansah, Acting Director General of Ghana Prisons Service, said 104 prisoners who are to face the death penalty are confined in a prison cell designed to contain only 24 inmates. He said however that efforts were being made to decongest the Nsawam Medium Security Prison as soon as possible. Mr Bansah who had appeared before the Public Account Committee of Parliament on Wednesday noted that remand prisons in James Town, Maamobi in the Greater Accra Region and Wa in the Upper West region were to be expanded. He said the Justice For All programme was on going adding, with only 42 prison establishments throughout the country, it was sometimes difficult to identify prisoners who escape to other prisons because they change their names. Mr Bansah mentioned that government had allocated funding to improve the health care, medical consumables and beddings of the prisons. He noted however that when the service makes its request, the amount received was insignificant. According to him, the service had an occasion to request an amount of Ghana Cedis 4,628,882.00 out of which Ghana Cedis 364,293.4 was approved leaving a shortfall of 264588.00 Ghana Cedis. Mr Bansah said the prisons service had 621 authorised staff with 400 at post currently adding, the service was revising its strategic plan to be in line with blue prints of the times. He asked that new officers be recruited to support the lean operational staff. He also said due to the poor conditions of service, three doctors were employed but two left. Dr Appiah Kubi, Deputy Minister of Interior, said there was a new prison facility at Ankafu with a hospital and that would help decongest the other prisons in the country. Mr Albert Kan Dapaah, Chairman of the Committee, said prisoners should be separated from those on remand and be confined. He said the service should adopt the use of bio-metric classification to capture the images of all inmates. Mr Dapaah said though they were social misfits, they could still be treated well adding, in a case where prisoners have to sleep while standing, transforming them and absorbing back to society when they had served time, would be difficult.
Source: Ghana News Agency