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Regional News of Sunday, 23 May 2021

Source: Alidu Abdur Rashid, Contributor

CSD Reform launches special component of (HOPE) Project in Tamale

The special component of the project would focus on improving prisoners' access to justice services The special component of the project would focus on improving prisoners' access to justice services

The Center for Social and Development Reform (CSD) Reform, on May 20, 2021, launched a special component of the ‘Harnessing Opportunities for Prisoners and Ex-convicts,’ (HOPE) Project, which intends to strengthen the justice delivery system in the Tamale Central Prison.

The special component of the 'HOPE Project' would focus on improving prisoners' access to justice services through the paralegal unit of the Tamale Prison Service.

The project is funded by the French Embassy in Ghana and it is expected to span between the periods of May 2021 to April 2022.

The implementing partners of the project include; the Tamale Central Prison Service, the Legal Aid Commission, the media, and the Local drama troupes.

The project is designed to archive two specific objectives which include, supporting the Paralegal unit of the Ghana Prison Service to provide legal services to inmates for enhanced timely access to justice. It is also to ensure that Stigma and discrimination against prisoners and ex-offenders are reduced through SBCC strategies.

Speaking at the ceremony, Rev. Fr. Gerald K. Zienaa, who is a member of the board of directors of the CSD Reform, lauds the French embassy in Ghana for providing funding support to CSD Reform to implement the HOPE project.

“Protecting the fundamental human rights of all persons is the most important value of the CSD Reform." He said.

He also thanked the management of the CSD Reform for developing such a project which seeks to improve inmates' access to the justice system.

Rev. Zienaa said the board is also happy the project is responding to the aspirations and transformational principle of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by ensuring no one is left behind.

“Our board of directors will continue to support the CSD Reform through our governance oversight to enable the organization live up to its mission and vision statement" He assured.

He further admonished the project managers to take the issue of safeguarding and protecting the vulnerable very seriously in the course of the project implementation.

“The institutional safeguarding policy of the CSD Reform should be taken very seriously by the staff of the CSD Reform and its implementing partners." He stressed.

Rev. Zienaa urged the implementing partners to accord the HOPE project and CSD Reform the needed support to ensure a successful implementation of the project.

Meanwhile, the Northern Regional Commander of the Ghana Prison Service, DDP Samuel Sapak Zoogah, in a speech delivered by him thanked the CSD Reform for the good initiative which intends to strengthens the capacity of the Ghana prison service to provide paralegal services to the vulnerable inmates' in the Tamale central prison.

“The Tamale prison service is grateful to CSD Reform and the French Embassy in Ghana for identifying this need and offering to help build our institutions capacity," he said.